The Cosmic Conflict is the struggle between God and Satan over the souls of men and the rulership of the earthly domain of the universal kingdom of God. It is the struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, life and death. In this conflict, God’s sovereignty is at stake. If Satan wins, man will forever be lost, and evil will reign supreme for ever, and Satan will be Lord over the Earth for eternity. But that cannot be allowed to happen, because the outcome is already determined in eternity past. It is no contest at all; for God is the foreordained victor.
Hi Satan is a spirit being created by God. Like all spirit beings, both men and angels, Satan is eternal. He can be restrained in the Lake that burneth with fire and brimstone for eternity, but cannot be annihilated totally. The body of man, the material part of Man(basar)can be liquidated, but man’s soul and spirit, the immaterial part of Man(nephesh) cannot be annihilated totally. Though Satan is an eternal being, he is neither omnipotent, nor omnipresent nor omniscient. He is limited in power, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. If he were wise enough, he would not have challenged God. Though sly, crafty, subtle and greasy, he lacked the sublime wisdom to remain humble under God.
This conflict which began before the dawn of time in the heavens will have its final hurrah on Earth. It began in eternity past and extends throughout all ages of human history. Like every other drama, the last act is understood in the light of every other previous act; it ties in and explains every other act. The director of this cosmic drama is the sovereign LORD of the universe.
The drama proclaims and fulfills His eternal Truth. The cataclysmic events of the end times, the tragic experiences of pain, sorrow, human suffering, terrorism, assassinations, targeted killings, sickness, disease, death, man’s inhumanity to man, sexual abuse of children(pedophilia), ritual killings and murders and all acts of wickedness and iniquity, wars, famines, tsunamis and earthquakes, droughts, excessive monsoon rains and flooding, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tropical storms, forest fires, the collective tears of humanity can only be understood, and are only explainable in the light of this cosmic drama.
Who will rule over God’s creation? Satan or God? Will the kingdoms of the Earth ruled over by the powers of darkness remain under the dominion of Satan, or will the kingdom of God ruled over by Christ prevail? This cosmic conflict will end in glorious victory for the kingdom of God, then shall Christ wipe away all tears, and there shall be no more death, sorrow, mourning, crying, or pain(Rev.21:4). Christ, God the Son, shall reign over the Earth in the behalf of God, the Father, for ever and ever(Dan.7:27).
The Origin Of The Cosmic Conflict
The Cosmic Conflict began in eternity past when Satan, the highest archangel of God, rebelled against God. Satan’s original name was Lucifer. In five I wills, Lucifer assayed to overthrow the sovereign LORD of the universe.
“He said in his heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High”(Isa.14:13,14).
God Almighty responded: “thou shall be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit”(Isa.14-15). Satan is not in Hell now, nor in the abyss, but both sentences will be accomplished in the end times.
Satan successfully lured one-third of the angels of God to join in his rebellion against God(Rev.12:3,4). A trial was held in eternity past. Satan was found guilty of insubordination and rebellion against the Almighty God. He was sentenced to eternity in the Lake of fire and brimstone together with his rebellious and evil angelic accomplices. Hell was originally built for Satan and his evil and fallen angels not man(Matt.25:41). But some men will wind up in Hell primarily because of unbelief.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but shall have life of the age to come”(Jon.3:16).
Satan and his fallen angels were evicted from Heaven’s premises, and cast into the Dark Void and Starry heavens. Contrary to what many believe and teach, Satan’s headquarters is not in Hell, but in the Dark Void. Satan abhors and dreads going to Hell. It gives him nightmares. Satan wants to drag the whole of humanity into Hell with Him, if it were possible. Unfortunately and unpalatable as it were, some men will go to Hell with Satan. Some men like the rich man in the Gospel according Luke are already in Hell(Luk.16:23).
Satan appealed God’s judgment, accusing God of injustice. To prove His righteous judgment, God made man in His own image and likeness, higher than angels but a shade lower than God(Gen.1:26; Heb.2:6-8). He put man in the Garden of Eden and suffered him to rebel against Him. He meted out the same punishment to man:
“in the day that thou eateth of it, thou shall surely die”(Gen.2:17).
Death here implies eternal seperation from God in the Lake of fire and brimstone.
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. As the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son: the soul that sinneth, it shall die”(Ezek.17:4,20). “The wages of sin is death”(Rom.6:23a). “And all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God”(Rom.3:23).
So, human history is an appeal trial of Satan, and His fallen evil and rebellious angels. The Universe is the divine court in session. Man is the guinea pig in the divine experiment. Satan and his fallen evil angels have made their choice: they are locked in unrighteousness. They can never repent. There is no divine provision for their redemption. But with man made in the image and likeness of God, it was not so. God made provision for the redemption of Man. Though the wages of sin is death, and all men have sinned and therefore fallen short of the glory of God, “but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus the Christ”(Rom.3:23). Herein lies the origin of the cosmic conflict between God and Satan over the souls of men.
The Cosmic Conflict between God and Satan which began in eternity past will end at the expiry of the seventh millennium. God will put an end to Satan’s kingdom at the end of the sixth millennium, but evil itself will be finally dealt with at the end of the seventh millennium. During the millennial reign of Christ, Satan is incarcerated in Abyss for a thousand years. At the end of the millennial reign of Christ, following the final rebellion organized by Satan after he was paroled by God, which ended in a divine conflagration(Rev.20:11-15), Satan shall be cast into the Lake of fire and brimstone where the antiChrist and the false prophet have been cast into a thousand years previously. Every creature, human and angelic, identified with Satan, shall also be cast into eternal punishment in the Lake of fire and brimstone, where they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever(Rev.19:20; 20:10; 21:8).
The fall of Satan led to the fall of man. The fall of Adam is inextricably tied up with the fall of Satan. If Satan had not fallen, Adam would not have fallen either. It is doubtful whether Adam would have been created in the first place. But we must also bear in mind that God knows the end from the beginning. Therefore God knew Satan would rebel against Him. He knew that He would create man in His own image and likeness. He also knew Eve would be hoodwinked by Satan into eating the forbidden fruit. Eve was deceived, but Adam was not deceived. His was a deliberate disobedience which was worst than the sin of Eve(1 Tim.2:14). He preferred the company of Eve to fellowship with God.
Satan’s supreme ambition was to usurp the sovereignty of God over the Earth, especially over mankind, who was made in the image and likeness of God, and given authority over the Earth as God’s representative in the earthly realm of His universal kingdom(Gen.1:26-28). At creation, Adam and Eve were well provided for in the Garden Of Eden. The only restriction God put on them was that they were forbidden from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told them: “in the day you eat of it, ye shall surely die”(Gen.2:17). Satan cast doubt into the mind of Eve, “had God said ye shall surely die? For God knows that in the day ye eat of it, your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil”(Gen.3:4,5).
In the conversation between Satan and Eve, Satan never questioned the existence of God. He did not use that approach because he could scarcely convince Eve that God did not exist, inasmuch as Adam and Eve had fellowship with God every evening(Gen.3:8). One can hardly convince another, that the person he or she fellowships with every evening does not exist. How can one convince another that his or her spouse is an illusion? But note that the end result of Satan’s argument is the same, that God does not exist. If Adam and Eve were God, then they were not created. If they were not created, there is no God, and they were God to themselves. This is one of the pillars of atheistic humanistic evolution. If there is no God, man is not created. If man is not created, he evolved. If he evolved, there are no moral absolutes, because God is the standard for morality. If there are no moral absolutes, everything is quicksand, everything is relative. One has only likes and dislikes. If it feels good, go ahead and do it. This is the same old lie that was told in the Garden of Eden. Moral relativism will lead to amorality. Amorality itself will lead to anarchy, total nomlessness which is utter chaos and confusion.
But God was not playing pranks with His words: eating the forbidden fruit would result in death. The day Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they died. First, they died spiritually; they were separated from God, which was the worst of the consequences. Secondly, they died morally because sin and evil plagued them all the days of their lives. Thirdly, they died physically. Physical death is not annihilation. It is the separation of the physical body, the material part of Man(basar), the temporal, from the immaterial parts of Man, the spirit and the soul(nephesh), which are eternal.
Man was created to live for ever. The physical body of Adam was neither mortal nor immortal in its original form. If he had not disobeyed God, his body would have remained immortal. But because he disobeyed God, sin brought in corruption, decay, sickness, disease, and the aging process, and death. Even if there were no sickness and disease, the body would wear off and die as a result of the evil effects of sin on the human body. The aging process is a consequence of sin. If there were no sin, man would not age. If there were no sin, there would be no sickness and disease. If there were no sin, there would be no aches, no pains, and no sorrows. If there were no sin, men would not lie one to another. If there were no lies, there would be unbounded happiness, joy and celebrations. Because of sin, there would be wars, and men would kill one another in battle. Even beyond the pale of wars, in every society, even within families, due to envy and other evils, man would commit murders, rape, conduct ritual killings, infanticide, homicide, patricide and matricide, incest, paedophilia and everything else that is vile and evil.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they lost their spiritual relationship with God, and the rulership of the Earth to Satan who became the god of this world(age, Greek: eion). Inadvertently, they chose the lordship of Satan over God’s. Not only Adam, and Eve and their posterity suffered corruption and alienation from God, the whole creation in the earthly domain of God’s universal kingdom fell sympathetically also. The whole world suffered curse and corruption as a consequence of the sin of Adam(Gen.3:17; Jer.12:4; Rom.5-12; 8:20). The woman shall conceive and reproduce in sorrow(Gen.3:16). Adam would eat out of the sweat of his brow(Gen.3:19). The Earth would no longer yield her increase(Gen.3:18). Entirely new laws were introduced by the new Lord of the Earth, Satan, that would govern the Earth. There would be earthquakes and Tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. There would be erratic weather patterns, excessive monsoon rains, floodings, rivers overflowing their banks, droughts and forest fires, soil erosions, insects pests and diseases and zoonoses etc. Does anyone have doubts that Satan is the god of this age?
Through sin, Satan succeeded in dethroning Adam from his rulership over the Earth, and arrogantly and insolently claimed that authority for himself. He is the ruler and the god of this age(Jon.12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2cor.4:4; Eph.2:1-2). Through Adam’s willful act of disobedience, with the intension of serving himself, he ended up neither serving himself nor God, but Satan. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned(Rom.5:13). From the fall of Man to the present, mankind have served Satan, with the exception of a limited number of righteous men in every generation. This state of affairs, God tolerates until the end of the sixth millennium, when He shall reclaim rulership of the Earth to Himself. Until God supernaturally takes over rulership of the Earth to Himself, the whole world will continue to lie in the vise grip, and magnetic field of the wicked one(1 Jon.5:19; cp. Luk.4:5,6).
When Satan rebelled against God, he became spiritually blinded and condemned. In like manner also, Satan led fallen humanity into spiritual blindness and condemnation, out of the kingdom and rulership of God, into the lordship and kingdom of Satan: for the god of this age has blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them(2 Cor.4:4).
The Dramatis Personae In The Cosmic Conflict.
The characters involved in the cosmic drama are God and His holy angels on one side, and Satan and his fallen evil angels on the other side. The mass of humanity are caught in the crossfire. Man is not a passive innocent bystander but an active participant. In heaven and on Earth, the battle is raging over the souls of men. All mankind by default, through the sin of Adam, are citizens of the satanic kingdom. But God determined in eternity past, before the foundation of the Earth, to elect a people, from the mass of humanity, from the midst of the kingdom of darkness, who would submit to His Lordship, a people who whilst within the domain of the kingdom of darkness, the satanic kingdom, will be citizens of the mystery form of His spiritual kingdom, ruled by His indwelling Spirit in them. These are the ambassadors of Heaven on Earth(Eph.1:4,5). God also chose when to destroy Satan’s kingdom, when He has completed the spiritual kingdom of God, when He had delivered all that He has chosen, from the kingdom of darkness into the spiritual kingdom of God. God would then destroy Satan’s kingdom on Earth, and set up a physical kingdom on Earth, over which Christ would reign as His representative in the earthly realm of His universal kingdom.
Both God and Satan and their angels are spirit beings without physical bodies. Man also is a spirit being, but has physical body. Both God and His angels can acquire a form comparable to physical body of Man, appear visible to the optical eyes, in order to accomplish certain purposes. Satan and his evil and fallen angels can also do the same. Jesus is the only person of the Godhead with a permanent, glorified eternal immortal resurrection body. Due to the lack of permanent physical forms, both parties rule the Earth by proxy. The Cosmic Conflict is a proxy war. Although the cosmic conflict is rooted in the heavens, it is played out here on Earth, between the citizens of the kingdom of God, and the citizens of the kingdom of Satan. It is therefore somewhat ridiculous for anyone to imagine that the Church will be absent from the scene in the last act of this drama.
The Sovereignty Of God Over The Whole Universe.
In the heavens, and on Earth, the conflict is raging. This immense conflict began at the dawn of human history. It is between God, the sovereign LORD of the universe, the possessor of the heavens and the Earth, and Lucifer, the foremost archangel of God who rebelled against his creator in eternity past. In time Adam was satanically hoodwinked into joining in the cosmic conflict on the side of Satan in the Garden of Eden. Through Adam death was passed to all men; for that all have sinned. In Adam, all humanity died. With the exception of our Lord Jesus the Christ, the thought, imaginations of the heart, actions and lifestyle and value system of every man that have ever lived evidenced this satanic rebellion.
Because God is sovereign, the course and destiny of the universe is not at the mercy of uncertain outcome of a conflict between the forces of good and evil. As we pointed out earlier, the outcone of this immense and universal conflict is not in doubt. The victor was determined in eternity past, long before the conflict began. It is not really a contest, though internecine, inasmuch as God, the sovereign LORD of the universe is the preordained victor. It is not a conflict between equal and opposite forces that struggle for supremacy. Satan is a creature. God is the creator of all things. God has no beginning. Although Satan is an eternal spirit being, he has a beginning. Good is superior to evil. Good is eternal, evil is temporal. In relation to eternity, evil is ephemeral, transient. It is like a dim puff in a nebulous maze, a blip in eternity. Evil is the corruption of that which is good. Although the rebellion of Satan and Adam brought evil into the equation of human condition, God will ultimately preserve everything that is good, and defeat Satan and everything that is evil. All that is truly good in the universe is of God, and all that is evil is of Satan. Satan did not, does not, and will not create any good thing. All that he can claim as his own is evil. The thief cometh not but to steal, to kill, and to destroy(Jon.8:44).
There is a physical realm and a spiritual realm. Each of these realms fall into one of two domains, the domain of good and the domain of evil. Every spirit being in the whole universe belongs to either of the two domains. There is no sitting on the fence in this internecine conflict. Both amongst men and angels, one is either on the side of God or the side of Satan, on the side of good, the kingdom of God, or on the side of evil, the kingdom of Satan. There are men on Earth who deny the existence of Satan. All that are such, unconsciously belong to the kingdom of Satan.
God is the sovereign LORD of the universe. He ceded the rulership of the earthly realm of His universal kingdom to Adam(Ps.115.16). Adam sold out to the Devil. So, Satan became the god of this age. Satan’s rulership of Earth will expire at the end of God’s lease to Adam, which is the expiry of the sixth millennium. So, Satan’s rulership of the Earth is temporary. Therefore, Satan’s tenure and rulership of the Earth is temporary. God’s ownership and rulership of the Earth is eternal. So, Christ’s reign over the Earth shall be eternal. The kingdom of God on Earth is an eternal kingdom. It is the reign of righteousness. In contrast, Satan’s reign is one of evil. God’s kingdom is founded on truth, whereas Satan’s kingdom is founded on falsehood. Christ’s kingdom is the kingdom of light, whereas Satan’s is one of darkness.
God’s rulership encompasses the whole universe, while Satan is limited to the Earth. God is omnipotent, but Satan operates within the bounds of the power granted him by God. God is omniscient, but Satan is limited in knowledge. God is omnipresent, but Satan is not. His sphere of influence is circumscribed by God. Although, in the present age, Satan is god, he is not sovereign over the Earth. God is still sovereign over the Earth. He is the governor amongst the nations. He putteth down one king, and lifts up another(Ps. 75:7). When Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, became too arrogant, God Almighty who humbleth the insolent struck him with leucantropy. For seven years he ate straw like the ox, his nails and feathers grew like those of the eagle’s. He was wetted with the due of heaven, and His dwelling was amongst the beasts of the field, wetted by the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God ruleth over the realm of mankind, and bestows it to whomsoever He will, even the basest of men. And before Him, all the inhabitants of the Earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the Earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, what doest thou(Dan.4:35).
Satan cannot do with the world as he pleases. He could not tempt Job without the permission of God. Even the extent of his temptation of Job was limited and circumscribed by God.
“There had no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: and God will with the same temptation also make a way of escape, so that you shall be able to bear it”(1 Cor.10:13).
Satan like every other created being, has nothing apart from God’s sovereign provision. And nothing can come upon us except that which has passed through the security of His love. Satan like every other spirit being created by God is eternal but finite. Only God is infinite. Evil is the only thing Satan can lay claim as his own. Although evil is vast, pervasive and pernicious, it is circumscribed by divine limits, in degree, extent and time. Satan’s intelligence and power are from God, and therefore restricted by God. God is the life in His enemies. Satan’s rulership over the Earth is temporary, and will be terminated at the time appointed by God, at the end of the sixth millennium.
Divine Strategy In The Cosmic Conflict.
Whereas Satan thought he had prevailed, and would rule over mankind and the earthly domain of God’s universal kingdom for ever, God made it clear He would destroy Satan and his kingdom on Earth in His own sovereign time. It would be through the seed of the woman that God would destroy Satan and his kingdom on Earth.
“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed”(Gen.3:15).
It therefore follows that a male descendant of the woman will bring about the ultimate downfall of Satan, and the destruction of the satanic kingdom. This seed would come from the line of Abraham(Gal.3:16). God told Abraham,
“I will bless you, and make your name great; I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you. And in thee shall all the families of the Earth be blessed”(Gen.12:3).
Satan would bruise the offspring of the woman, Jesus The Christ. That meant that Jesus would die on the execution stake in order to redeem all mankind. But Jesus would rise from the dead, and crush the head of Satan. At His second advent, He will defeat Satan, and reclaim the rulership and retake physical possession of the Earth for the rightful owner, the Almighty God(Rev.11:15). At the expiration of the seventh millennium, Satan shall be cast into the Lake of fire and brimstone where he will be tormented for ever and ever(Rev.20:10).
In order to reclaim the earthly domain of God’s universal kingdom usurped by Satan, and redeem humanity who by default became citizens of the Satanic kingdom, God instituted a prophetic plan. This plan is simple and effective. Through this plan, God instituted a spiritual and an invisible kingdom, within the realm of the earthly satanic kingdom. God reigns from heaven over this invisible kingdom in the hearts of those who believe in Him whilst within the earthly domain of Satan’s kingdom. Today, God reigns in the hearts of believers who have received the new life in Christ, the life of the age to come, who have yielded themselves to God and His Son, Jesus the Christ. This is a temporary phenomenon, preludial to the future time at the expiration of the sixth millennium, when Yahweh would destroy Satan’s kingdom, and reestablish His rule over the Earth.
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”(Dan.2:44,45).
This would occur during the millennium. Within that framework of time, God would establish a recreated order and dominion, which would be a consummation of the original prestine order that existed in the Garden of Eden prior to the Fall of Adam. Robert Van Kampen has brilliantly outlined the prophetic plan of God in six steps in his marvelous work, The Sign. We shall follow those steps in this article. I have added one to make it seven, the divine, complete and perfect number. The Messiah would be born of a woman of the line of Abraham through Jacob, that is Israel.
Step 1: God Elected Some People For His Kingdom.
Out of this world ruled by Satan, God in His infinite wisdom, chose some people, men and women for His kingdom over whose lives, He rules from Heaven through the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit. These men and women of faith who come to God the Father through faith in the finished work of Christ, the Son, on the cross of Calvary are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, the father of the faithful(Gal.3:29; cp. Rom.4:11,12; 9:6,7; Rev.12:17).
In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul explains that God the Father chose men and women who would trust and obey Him as citizens of His spiritual kingdom on Earth.
“According as He(God the Father) hath chosen us in Him(God the Son) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will(Eph.1:4,5).
In the interim, until the destruction of the kingdom of Satan on Earth, God’s kingdom on Earth will be a spiritual kingdom, invisible, without natural earthly boundaries, ruled by God, from Heaven, through the agency of the indwelking Holy Spirit, in the hearts of those who believe in Him. During the interrogation, before His crucifixion, when questioned by Pontus Pilate, governor of Judaea, Jesus answered,
“I am a king, and for this purpose came I into the world, but my kingdom is not of this age. If my kingdom were of this age, then would my disciples fight that I might not be delivered to the Jews.
He went on to say, everyone who is a citizen of God’s invisible spiritual kingdom hears my voice”(Jon.18:36,37).
Apostle Peter, writing about the children of God in this age, referred to them as aliens(1 Pet.1:1). This implies that these citizens of God’s invisible spiritual kingdom are governed by the laws of Heaven, not the laws of the earthly Satanic kingdom of the present age. In another place, Paul referred to them as ambassadors for Christ(2 Cor.5:20). In other words, these men and women are representatives of the heavenly kingdom on Earth.
We must not lose sight of the fact that these men and women were not thrown down from Heaven. In fact, like everyone else, they were once citizens of the earthy satanic kingdom. Paul, while writing to the Church at Ephesus, reminded them, that they are quickened, they were once dead in trespasses and sins;
“wherein in time past, you 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. But God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, hath He quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ”(Eph.2:1-2, 4-6).
As we pointed out earlier, the promise was given to Abraham: in thee shall all the families of the Earth be blessed(Gen.12:3). No one is a citizen of the spiritual kingdom of God on Earth, merely because he or she is of Jewish extraction. Salvation is always by faith. It is solely through divinely bestowed faith which God sovereignly grants those He had chosen before the foundation of the world, to be redeemed out of the kingdom of darkness(Gen.14:6; Eph.2:8; Heb.11:1,2). It is only those who receive this faith, both Jews and Gentiles, who are the spiritual offspring of Abraham, who are the true citizens of the invisible spiritual kingdom of God.
The promise made to Abraham and His descendants, that he would be the heir of the world, was not through the law, but rather through the righteousness of faith(Rom.4:13).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast”(Eph.2:8,9).
Paul again, addressing the Romans said, they are not all Israel that are of Israel, neither are they children simply because they are the seed(descendants) of Abraham. So, we can see that not all who are of the natural line of Abraham are the citizens of God’s spiritual kingdom, but the children of the promise, that is, those who are elected in Christ, who have expressed faith in the risen Saviour(Rom.9:6-8).
Jesus had to speak harshly to the Jewish elders and religious leaders who arrogantly assumed that because they were of Jewish extraction, physical descendants of Abraham, they were also automatically the heirs of the spiritual kingdom that God promised Abraham. Jesus commentary on them was to jolt them out of that erroneous notion. It must have been shocking to them for Jesus to name Satan as their father, at the same denying that Abraham was their father.
Jesus made a distinction between His Father, and their father. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father. They answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said unto them, if you were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that had told you the truth, which I heard of God, this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. They answered Him: We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, if God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceed forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word(Jon.8:38-43).
These religious leaders of Israel did not understand Jesus. The reason they did not understand Jesus was very simple. They were not of God, the Father. Though they were physical offspring of Abraham, they were not his spiritual children. In other words, they had not the Faith of Abraham. They did not approach God by faith. Had they approached God by faith, they would have understood that Jesus came forth from the Father, that He did not come of His accord, but that the Father sent Him.
Can you imagine, the Magi, the wise men from the East, knew when Jesus was born:they saw His star in the East? They knew He was the king of the Jews. The king of the Jews is the king of the whole world. They came o worship Him. But the religious leadership of Israel, the Pharisees and the Sadducees did not know Him, and therefore could not recognize Him when He was born though they had all the facts about Him at the fingertips. Their reasoning was purely at the level of the physical. They were shocked that Jesus denied them the fatherhood of Abraham. How could Abraham be not our father when we are his physical descendants, and are not born out of wedlock. Jesus knew they were Abraham’s physical descendants, but He was referring to the fatherhood of Abraham through faith. These men did not have the faith of Abraham. Had they had the faith of Abraham, they would have comprehended the origin and teachings of Jesus. In other words they would have openly and publicly acknowledged and declared Him the Messiah of Israel and of all mankind.
Jesus told them the truth, but they did not receive it, and therefore could not believe Him. Did they find Him guilty of sin? Absolutely not. If He told them the truth, and they did not convict Him of sin, why then did they not believe Him? Again, the reason is very simple and basic.
“He that is of God heareth God’s word: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God”(Jon.8:45-47).
That is to say, they were not the spiritual children of Abraham, the children of Abraham by faith. To be of Jewish extraction is not a personal choice one makes, but a natural bestowal. But to be a child of Abraham through faith is open to everyone, Jew or Gentile. It is by choice. Being a physical descendant of Abraham through Jacob, does not automatically translate to being a spiritual heir and inheritor of the blessings of Abraham. One has to make a conscious effort to walk in the faith of Abraham. And that would invariably lead one to faith in Jesus, the Son of God and the Messiah of Israel and of all mankind.
This scathing criticism of the Jewish religious leaders was very offensive to the them. But that did not deter Jesus.
“Ye are of your father, the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is not truth in Him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of His own: for he is a liar, and the Father of it”(Jon.8:44).
Satan is not the creator. The only thing he can lay claim to as his own is lie. Lie and falsehood are evil. Satan is the author of all misbegotten and opprobrious ideas. When Jesus referred to the beginning, He meant that Satan did not abide in the original state granted him of God. Because he sought a state higher than that granted him of His maker and Lord, he crashed into ignominy. These Jewish religious leaders have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. Because they went about to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God(Rom.10:3,4). If they had submitted themselves to the righteousness which is of God through the faith of Abraham, the father of the faithful, they would have recognized and acknowledged the Messiahship of Jesus. If one does not accept the record of God on anything, one makes God a liar. But God is not a liar and cannot be a liar. Therefore, by reverse and circular logic, the one becomes a liar. Satan rejected the testimony of God, and became a liar. Jews who reject the testimony of God concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, are liars too. Though they be physical descendants of Abraham, and are not born out of wedlock, and have all the external paraphernalia of Judaism, their real spiritual father is the Devil, who is the originator, author and father of all lies and falsehood.And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise(Gal.3:29).
Both Jews and Gentiles are the spiritual seed of Abraham through faith in Christ Jesus. Gentiles who come to the God of Israel through the saving knowledge of Jesus The Christ are now part of the spiritual line of Abraham through faith.Through the fall of Israel by transgression, salvation is come to the Gentiles through faith in Jesus Christ. God’s spiritual kingdom, His chosen spiritual line was originally to come primarily from the natural line of Abraham through Jacob, that is, from within the physical line of the nation of Israel, but because of transgression, salvation had come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke Isreal to jealousy(Rom.11:11). Nevertheless, all Israel shall be saved, after the fullness of the Gentiles is come in(Rom.11:25,26). In the new dispensation, God’s chosen people, the citizens of the kingdom of God, include Jews and Gentiles who have received the divinely bestowed gift of faith in Jesus the Christ.
Step 2: God’s Choice Of the Messiah.
Jesus was with the Father from the beginning. His going forth is of old(Mic.5:2). By Him all things were made(Jon.1:3). But in relation to God’s plan of redemption, there was a day in which God the Father chose and adopted the second person of the Godhead, to become His Son. You are my Son, this day I haven begotten thee, and again, I shall be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son. That act of adoption did not in any way diminish His divinity. Therefore when He brought the first begotten into the World, He said, let all the angels of God worship Him(Heb.1:6). He was chosen by God the Father, to die on the cross, in order to redeem all mankind. He was foreordained to die for all mankind.
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in this last times for you”(1 Pet.1:18-20).
The primary purpose of Christ’s first advent was to pay the penalty for sin for those whom God had chosen before the foundation of the world(Eph.1:4). The prophet Isaiah wrote:
“surely He has borne our briefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to His own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their inequities”(Isa.53:4-6,11).
“Though, He were a Son, yet He learnt obedience by the things which He suffered. And bring made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him. Called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec”(Heb.5:8-10).
And His sonship is linked up with His priesthood after the order of Melchisedec. So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an High Priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art My Son, today I have begotten thee. As He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest after the order of Melchisedec. If He were not man He would not die. If He were not sinless, His blood would not do. If He were not the “goel,” He would not be the redeemer.
In order to satisfy the requirements of the Holy God, He relinquished the exercise of divinity, and took on the fashion of Man. In that passage of the Scripture called the “kenosis,” emptying, The Christ devested Himself of the glory which He shared with the Father from the beginning. He took on human form, and became subject unto death. Paul wrote in Phil.2:5-12:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Where God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ us Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Step 3. God Chose That The Messiah Would Be The Seed Of The Woman.
No sooner had man fallen through the deception of the woman by the Serpent, than God announced the destruction of the Serpent by the seed of the woman.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head , and thou shall bruise His heel”(Gen.3:15).
If the redemer were to be the seed of the woman, and not of Adam, it therefore follows that He would be born of the woman, but not conceived of Adam. For if He were to be conceived of Adam, He would have the sin nature. But we know that the Messiah was conceived of the Holy Spirit. When angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would conceive, she wondered how that would be seeing she had no husband. But the angel told her that the power of God would overshadow her, therefore that Holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of the Highest(Luk.1:35).
“Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a Son, and we shall call His name Emmanuel”(Isa 7:14).
And in fulfilment of this promise, when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons(Gal.4:4,5).
Step 4. God Chose That The Messiah Would come From The Obedient Line Of The Nation Of Israel.
When Abraham dwelt in Ur of the Chaldees, in Mesopotamia, God called him.
“Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thee shall all the families of the Earth be blessed”(Gen.12:1-3).
Abraham emigrated to Charan with His father, Terah and his nephew Lot. After the death of His father Terah in the land of Charan, Abraham relocated to the land of Canaan. In this passage of Scripture cited above is contained the seed of the gospel. It is protoevangelion. Here the gospel was preached to Abraham, “in thee shall all the families of the Earth be blessed.” God later on cut a covenant with Abraham. It is called the Abrahamic covenant(Gen.15 ). It is an unconditiobal covenant. Abraham was asleep when God passed through the aisle made by the pieces of the sacrificial animals. The promise made to Abraham was passed on to Isaac(Gen.25:5,11), and from Isaac to Jacob(Gen.27:28,29 ). And from Jacob to the twelve patriarchs. Jacob while blessing the twelve patriarchs at his deathbed prophesied to Judah, saying, among other things, that the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, neither the law giver from between his feet until His coming, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be(Gen.49:10). Later God cut a covenant with David, that there shall not fail thee a son to sit upon his throne for ever, and His seed shall rule over the kingdom of God on Earth, a priest upon the throne(1 Sam.7:12-16; Zach. 6:13).
Step 5. God Chose When To Complete The Spiritual Kingdom Of God.
We are grateful to God for the Jews who have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus The Christ, but the majority of the household of Israel do not yet acknowledge Jesus as the promised Messiah of Israel. It is mind boggling that the Jewish rabbis, with all their devotion to, and adoration of the Torah, do not understand that the Messiah Would be cut off before the destruction of the Temple by the Roman general Titus in 70 AD(Dan.9:26). In spite of Israel’s continued rejection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord, God has chosen at what point in time in His prophetic plan, when He shall save the whole nation of Israel, thereby completing the spiritual kingdom of God. Before that would happen, certain essentials in God’s relationship with Israel must be accomplished, according to the prophet Daniel.
“Seventy sevens are determined upon the thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and the bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and yo anoint The Most Holy”(Dan.9:24).
After the completion of the 70th seven of Daniel, when the sin of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah would have been fully atoned for, God will bring in everlasting righteousness, leading to the salvation of the entire nation of Israel who have survived the 70th week, and did not take the mark of the beast. Whilst the prophet Daniel tells us more or less generally that everlasting righteousness shall be brought in to Israel at the completion of the 70th seven, the prophet Hosea was more specific . He tells us to the very day, when Israel shall be saved after the completion of the 70th seven.
“Come, and let us return until the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. And after two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight”(Hos.6:1,2).
Three days after the end of the 70th week of Daniel, that is, three days into the 30-day Reclamation Period Of The Kingdom, all Israel shall be saved. For it is written, there shall come forth a deliverer from Zion, and He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob(Rom.11:26). It is only after this that The Most Holy will be anointed. Jesus, The Christ will then reclaim physical posession of the Earth, and become king over the earthly domain of God’s universal kingdom.
John the revelator tells us, that shortly prior to the blowing of the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished.
“But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when He shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets”(Rev.10:7).
When the mystery of God is finished, the spiritual kingdom of God is complete, then Christ shall regain possession of the rule of God over the Earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever”(Rev.11:15).
When the mystery of God is complete(Rev.10:7, cf. Rom.11:25,26), the whole nation of Israel shall be saved to complete the spiritual kingdom of God, then Dan.9:24 will be fulfilled. At the completion of the 70th, Israel would have atoned for her sins, and the nation saved. Then and only then will the kingdom revert back to God.
Apostle Paul made it clear that what happened to Israel, was a partial spiritual hardening and blindness. When the fullness of the Gentiles is come in, all Israel shall be saved.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentilles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob”(Rom.11:25,26).
The salvation of Israel completes the mystery of God, and the spiritual kingdom of God. Then the kingdoms of this world would become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ.
Step 6. God Chose When To Destroy Satan’s Kingdom.
Jesus is coming again, not as a suffering Messiah, but as a conquering King over all the Earth(Isa.65:17-25; Ezek.34:23,24). But before this happens, the entire remnant of the nation of Israel must accept Christ as the Messiah of Israel.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gatheteth her chickens under her wings, and you would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord”(Matt.23:37-39; cf. Rom.11:25-27; Jer.31:31-33; Zech.12:10; Ezek.39:27-29).
Only when Israel has accepted Jesus as their true Messiah Would God take back control of the Earth(Rom.11:17). During the Day of His Wrath, God Almighty will reclaim His rule of the Earth, destroy the forces of the kingdom of Satan, and retake physical possession of the Earth at Armageddon(Rev.19:11-21). By then the wrath of God would have been finished(Rev.15:1). The last of God’s wrath is the conclusion of the Day Of The Lord. During that period of time, God will unleash His unparalleled wrath on the ungodly and wicked living earth-dwellers, worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. God will utterly destroy Satan’s earthly kingdom, and all its beast-marked citizens, in preparation for the kingdom of Christ on Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
“The Great day of the LORD is near, it is near , and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land”(Zeph.1:14-18).
In that day God will make a speedy riddance of all earth-dwellers who are beast-marked. The war between satan and God is prophesied in both the OT(Dan.9:24), and the NT(Rev. 10:7;11:15). When the salvation of Israel is complete, the rulership of the Earth will revert back to God. Satan is not really happy about this, and is doing everything in his power to subvert it. But he cannot prevail. Over the ages, Satan has attempted to wipe out the entire nation of Israel by using various gentile nations referred to as Beast empires, and their corrupt antisemitic rulers, during the times of the Gentiles. At the fullness of the Gentiles, God shall swoop down from the heavens, destroy these nations and set up His own Kingdom which shall reign for ever.
Step 7. God Chose When To Crown Christ King.
The precise time when Christ shall be crowned King over the Earth by God The Father has already been chosen. Christ shall have already reclaimed God’s rule over the Earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet(Rev. 11:15,17), shortly after the completion of the spiritual Kingdom of God, when the mystery of God is finished. After the battle of Armaggedon, Christ reclaims physical possession of the Earth for the Almighty God. Then the Lord will be king over all the Earth; in that day, The Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one(Zech. 14:9).
“I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. And I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like unto the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient Of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given him Dominion, and glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve Him: His Dominion is an everlasting Dominion, which shall never pass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”(Dan. 7:11,13,14).
It is for this reason, that Satan is doing all in his power to prevent the nation of Israel from coming to the saving knowledge of the Christ, knowing that that day will bring an end to His Kingdom, and his final defeat in the cosmic conflict.
The Messiah: God’s Prophetic Man.
In order to accomplish the Prophetic plan of God outlined above and the overthrow of Satan, Jesus The Christ, the heavenly archetypal man, must cross the stars and visit the Earth on two separate occasions in the history of man. At His first coming, He would die to redeem man, and irreversibly abolish sin and it’s consequences. At His first advent, He paid the price for the redemption of a people of His own choosing from the kingdom of darkness under the administration of Satan for the kingdom of God(Eph.2. 1:3-2:7).
At His second Advent, He will bring deliverance to all true believers in Christ, salvation to the remnant of the natural line of Abraham, and judgment on the living wicked earth dwellers, adorers and worshippers of the Beat-antiChrist. He will bring an end to Satan’s rule over the Earth by the destruction of all beast-marked citizens of the kingdom of darkness. He will usher in the much anticipated millennium, His one thousand year reign of righteousness over the Earth.
Christ’s First Advent.
As we have point out earlier, The coming of the Messiah shall be in two phases. During each phase, He accomplishes certain specific objectives that are essential to the redemption of mankind, and the reestablishment of the kingdom of God in the earthly Provence of His universal Kingdom. During Christ’s first advent, He accomplished four specific objectives.
1. Remission Of Sin
The wages of Sin is death(Rom.6:23). The sin of Adam brought death upon all mankind. By death we mean primarily eternal separation from God in the Lake of fire and brimstone, and secondarily, physical death, the separation of the immaterial part, the eternal spirit and soul from the material part of man, the physical body. And without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. Christ as the passover Lamb, the kinsman redeemer, the “goel,” satisfied the death penalty imposed by the sin of Adam on humanity. His death was a substitutionary one. By the shedding of His blood on the cross of calvary, He satisfied the just and righteous demands of the Holy God.
Christ by His death, reconciled us back to God. Sin banished man from the presence of God. Man became an alien from the kingdom of God. Christ as the passover Lamb, permanently overcame the effect of Sin. He freed us from spiritual death, and eternal separation from the presence of God and His Kingdom from which we were alienated by the sin of Adam.
3. Redemption Of The Elect
Although Christ died for all mankind, as the passover Lamb, He came specifically for those who were chosen to be His people. No man can come unto Me except my Father who hath sent me call him, and I will raise up on the last Day(Jon. 6:44). Many are called, but few are chosen(Matt. 20:16; 22:14). By default, through the sin of Adam, every man became a citizen of the kingdom of darkness ruled over by Satan. Christ came to redeem those who were chosen to be the seed of Abraham by faith, that is, the spiritual line of Abraham, back from the kingdom of darkness ruled over by Satan, into the invisible spiritual Kingdom of God, ruled over by God through the agency of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the redeemed in this age.
“Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned. As by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”(Rom.13. 5:12,19).
The blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all sin(1 Jon.1:7). Therefore, we are to look and wait for the blessed hope and look for the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Christ Jesus, when He shall come to glorified in His saints, whom He hath redeemed from all iniquity, and purified for Himself, a glorious people zealous of good works(Titus 2:12-14).
4. Sealed The Faith Of Satan.
By taking Christ to the execution stake, Satan tied the noose on his own neck. Satan assumed when Christ died on the cross, it was all over. He assumed he had obtained victory over God. He thought he had eliminated the redeemer of mankind for ever: that man will for ever be his slave, and serve, worship and obey him. He goofed. Christ’s death on the cross spelt Satan’s certain doom. Christ’s resurrection from the dead sealed Satan’s fate, and doomed his Kingdom on Earth for ever.
Satan did indeed bruise the heel of the Seed of the woman(Gen. 3:15). The wound was fatal: Christ died on the cross. But by the death of Christ on the execution stake, Christ crushed the head of Satan, and obtained eternal victory for the saints of the Most High. Jesus is worthy to judge the world, the kingdom of Satan at is His second coming because, He is the Son of God, and God has committed all judgment to Him. The days of ignorance, God winked at, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent; for He has appointed a day, in which He judge all men in righteousness through the Man whom He hath chosen, having furnished proof to all by raising Him from the dead(Acts 17:30,31). For this purpose, He came into the world.
“Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.”(Jon. 12:27,31).
Christ’s Second Advent.
Christ’s second advent, is the climax of the cosmic drama. During His first advent, He was gentle Jesus, meek and mild. He was the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world, and will always be. But in relation to His second coming, He will be the Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah, who hath prevailed to open the Scroll and to break the seven seals thereof (Rev. 5:5). He is coming in power and great glory, with His holy angels, in flaming fire taken vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of His Son: who shall be punished with everything destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power(2 These. 1:7-9). The redeemed will be filled with joy and the lost with terror(Luke. 21:25-28; cp Rev. 6:17).
Just like during His first advent, four major objectives will be fulfilled during His second advent. I have added a fifth which is a corollary of the fourth: for before Christ takes physical possession of the Earth, He must of necessity reclaim God’s rule over the Earth which Satan usurped through the deliberate disobedience of Adam.
1. The Rescue Of The Saints: The Rapture.
When He appears in His glory in the heavens, He shall rescue the saints, both Jews and Gentiles who have entered into covenantal relationship with Him through faith in His finished work, His substitutionary and soteriological work on the cross of Calvary. These are the citizens of His invisible spiritual Kingdom living on Earth. He will rescue them from the terrible persecution of the antiChrist during the great Tribulation. His rescue of the saints will initiate the Day-of-the-Lord judgment of the living wicked earth dwellers who remain. The Lord knows how to deliver the godly from temptation(trial, peirazmos), and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished(2 Pet.2:9).
2. The Rescue Of The Remnant Of Israel
At Christ’s second advent, He will rescue the unsaved remnant of Israel that have survived the Day-of-the-Lord’s judgment of the wicked earth dwellers, adorers and worshippers of the Dragon-Beast, thus completing the spiritual Kingdom of God. It is only after the salvation of the surviving remnant of Israel which brings to completion the spiritual Kingdom of God, that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His christ; and He shall reign for ever and eve(Rev. 11:15). At the same time that the saints were raptured, the 144,000, were sealed for protection before the wrath of God commenced.
The 144,000, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, who were not defiled with women, were sealed and hidden in the rose red city of Petra, in modern day Jordan, in order to protect them from the initial trumpet judgments. After the end of the 70th seven, after the death and resurrection of the two witnesses, they shall be taken to protective custody in Azel(Zech. 14:5), in oder to shield them from the remaining wrath of God contained in the seven bowls. But the rest of the remnant of Israel other than the 144,000, shall go through the rest of the wrath of God contained in the seven bowls.
“And I will bring the third part(the surviving remnant) through the fire(the Day-of-the-Lord), and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is is tried(in the fire of the Day-of-the-Lord). They will call on My Name, and I will answer them; I will say, “they are My People,” and they will say, “The Lord is my God”(Zach. 13:9).
Those who survive, who definitely are not beast-marked shall be gathered from all parts of the Earth to enter the Millennium at the end of the war of Armaggedon. However, the completion of the spiritual Kingdom of God occurs shortly before the blowing of the seventh trumpet, when the unsaved remnant of Israel who are not beast-marked are brought into convenantal relationship with the God of Israel. It is written: He will return to the Earth for the salvation of thy people, for the salvation of thy anointed(Hab.3:13). And then, they shall look on me whom they have pierced; and mourn for Him as one mourners for his only son(Zech. 12:10).
3. The Destruction Of The Wicked: The Day-of-the-Lord Judgment.
When Christ returns, during the day-of-the-Lord judgment, He will destroy all the living wicked earth dwellers, worshippers and adorers of the antiMessiah who are beast-marked. These are the children of the Wicked One, the citizens of the kingdom of darkness. This judgment is comparable to the destruction of the wicked inhabitants of the Earth in the days of Noah, during the deluge, when only Noah and his family were rescued in the ark. It is comparable also to the destruction of the inhabitants of Sodom, and Gomorrah by fire in the days of Lot, when only Lot and his family escaped(Matt:24:37-39; Luk.17:26-30; 2Pet.2:4-9).
As foretold by the prophet Zephaniah, in the Day of the Lord’s wrath, all the earth shall be devoured in the fire of His jealousy: for He will make a full end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the Earth(Zeph.1:18). According to Apostle Peter, the present heavens and earth are reserved unto fire, by the word of God, waiting for the judgment of the Great Day( 2 Pet.3:7). And according to the prophet Isaiah, God will in that Day, punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity(Isa.13:11a).
4. Reclamation Of God’s Rule Over The Earth
At Christ second advent, He will reclaim God’s rule over the earthly realm of God’s universal kingdom usurped by Satan following the fall of Adam through ingestion of the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “the kingdoms of this age are become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever”(Rev. 11:15).5.
Christ’s Repossession Of The Earth, And The Coronation Of The Messiah.
At Christ’s second coming, He will be given physical possession of the Earth by the Almighty God, the Father, after Christ had defeated the armies of the Antichrist and all the kings of the Earth at the battle of Armaggedon.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and He that sat on him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war…. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the Earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
The Antichrist and his armies are defeated, and the armies of the other kings and kingdoms of the Earth are defeated at Armaggedon, the Lord will be king over all the Earth. In that day, the Messiah shall be crowned king. He shall be the priest upon the throne(Zech.6:13). In that day, the Lord will be the only one, and His name, the only one. Then shall be brought to pass, the saying that is written:
“the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from under the Earth, and from under these heavens(Jere.10:11).
God is the creator; Satan is a creature. God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, but Satan is limited in knowledge, power and presence. God knows the end from the beginning. Satan’s plan was known to God from the beginning. There is no succession of events in God’s omniscient consciousness. Satan blinded and carried away by his unbounded pride and arrogance, has mapped out his own strategy by means of which he hoped to defeat God. Satan’s strategy is not an original one, but rather desperate attempt to counteract God’s original plan. The interesting thing is that God’s strategy and Satanic counterstrategy are played out within the bounds and limits of God’s sovereignty, with a preordained outcome unequivocally revealed in God’s Word.
The failure of three of these Satanic counterstrategies have already been revealed in history. It is ironical that Satan could imagine that he could defeat his creator with the limited knowledge and power granted him of God. Of course, his original thought was that he could, and that his final strategy would become a reality, though his failure had been predicted in God’s word. Today Satan knows he can never win. All he is up to now is to drag as many men as he could into Hell with him. This awareness of failure will be more acute once he is cast down to the Earth in the middle of the 70th seven of Daniel. He will come down with great wrath knowing that he hath but a short time.
“Woe to the inhabitants 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”(Rev. 12:12).
Satan’s scheme is very simple. It consists of two words, disqualify and destroy. This simple scheme clearly reveals his nature and character as a thief, a murderer and a destroyer. Whatever Satan does, whether outwardly good or evil, the end result is to steal, to kill and to destroy. The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, in contrast to Jesus, the Messiah, who came that we may have life, and have more abundantly(Jon. 10:10).
1 Disqualify And Disqualify The Whole Human Race.
Immediately man fell, God instituted a plan to redeem man. The first promise of redemption is in Gen.3:15. I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel. That meant that the seed of the woman would redeem man. This verse of Scripture is protoevangelion, because within it is contained the seed of the gospel.
a) The Hybridization Of The Entire Human Race
In order to counter God’s plan to redeem man, Satan despatched some of his fallen evil angels, to cohabit with human females, the daughters of men. This unholy union resulted in the breeding of a species of spirit beings, the “nephilim” in Hebrew, who were neither human nor angelic. They were very wicked and mean. They were an embodiment of everything that evil and ornery in man and fallen angels(Gen. 6:1-4). They could not be redeemed being hybrid humans. The aim of Satan was to corrupt the whole human race, so that the Messiah would not be born.
The Messiah must of necessity be a pure human. Man can only be redeemed by his kinsman redeemer, the “goel.” If the entire human race were hybridized, there would be no pure human line through which the redeemer could come into World, and there would be no pure human race to redeem. God never promised to redeem angels or humanoids or transhumans.
The Messiah must be the Son Of Man.
He must be born of a pure human female. Nearly every family on Earth was hybridized with exception of Noah and his family. The statement that Noah was pure in his generation is better translated, Noah was pure in his descendants or posterity (Gen. 6:9). In other words, Noah and his family were the only ones who were not hybridized. They were the only ones who were pure humans. Little wonder therefore that God liquidated that whole generation in the deluge. Noah and his family were saved. Pure breed of humans will not vanish from the Earth. God’s plan will not be thwarted(Isa. 8:9-14). The whole army of evil spirits who took part in the execution of Satan’s plan were incarcerated in the shaft of the abyss, in chains, under darkness, waiting for the judgment of the great day( Judge. 1:6).
Some of these mean and wicked beings shall be employed in God’s Day Of The Lord judgement of the wicked earth dwellers, adorers and worshippers of the Beast-antiChrist.
Satan knew that had he succeeded in hybridizing the whole human race, they would all have been disqualified. Had they all been disqualified, God would have wiped them all out in the deluge. God had to arrest that process before it was brought to its logical conclusion. We can see the simple logic of Satan’s plan played here, Disqualify and or destroy.
b) The Introduction and Institutionalization Of Mass Idolatry.
With the survival of Noah and his family, the pure human race has been preserved. But Satan, being the enterprising spirit that he is went to work. After the deluge, God commanded men to disperse all over the globe. But Nimrod, in defiance to God, built cities like Babylon, Nimrud and Uruk. Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord (Gen. 10:9). Nimrod was a great grandson of Noah through Ham and Cush. His prowess mentioned above, has nothing to do with animals and hunting. Nimrod practised witchcraft. With him is associated the origin of false religion, false humanistic government and consumerism and commercialism. Babylon was not just a city, it symbolized a philosophical concept, a global ideal that was applicable to government, religion, education, commerce, indeed all facets of human existence. The evil concept that is Babylon shall be annihilated at the outpouring of the seventh bowl judgment.
The ziggurats of ancient Babel were not residential skyscrapers, but minarets for the practice of astrology and star gazing. Mother-child worship had its origin in Babylon. Semiramis was the wife of Nimrod, and Osiris his son. Osiris was believed to have been born posthumously, whom Semiramis believed to be her husband come back to life. In Mid Eastern mythology, Osiris actually married the mother which was an abomination.
Following the confusion of tongues at Babel, the various peoples of the Earth, scattered to the four corners of the globe, bearing the vestiges of their religion of Mother-Child worship originated by Nimrod and his evil wife Semiramis. There are no peoples on Earth to whom Mother-Child worship is alien.
But again, as in the case of Noah and his family, God spared Abraham from the mass and rampant idolatry of his day. He called and separated him to Himself from the idolatrous city of Ur of the Chaldeans in which he lived. God called Abraham to the land of Canaan. Though the Canaanites were deep in idolatry as were the men of Ur, Abraham would not be under pressure from his kinsman to conform and comply. He could worship the True and Almighty God without undue negative influences from his kinsmen.
Idolatry is a temple-defiling sin. If all men were unrepentant idolaters, God would have to wipe them out. Yet again, the simple logic of desqualify and destroy is self-evident. But God preserved Abraham. Once again Satan’s plan had failed.
2 Disqualify And Destroy The Line Of The Messiah.
When God called Abraham, He cut an unconditional covenant with him. Now the Lord had said unto Abraham,
“Get thee out of thy own country, and from thy own kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall the families of the Earth be blessed”(Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-21).
God reenacted this covenant with Isaac, and Jacob. The promises of the blessings of Abraham were passed to the twelve patriarchs through Jacob. God went further to choose the tribe of Judah as the one through whom the king shall come.
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law giver from between his feet, until His coming; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be”(Gen.49:10).
a) Judah’s Inadvertent Incest
As soon as Satan knew from the word of God that the king will come from the tribe of Judah, he furiously attacked Judah’s family. Er the first son of Judah was very wicked. Wherefore the Lord slew him. He died without posterity though married. Judah asked his second son Onan to go in to his brother’s wife in order to preserve a seed for his brother, so that his name perish not, according to the practice of levirate marriage which was common in the Near East prior to the law of Moses. Onan spilled it thereby shirking his responsibility. What Onan did displeased the Lord; wherefore also God slew him for his irresponsibility.
Because Judah was afraid to give his daughter-in-law Tamar to Shelah, his third son, lest he die also, Tamar had to abide in her father’s house as a widow. When she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she was not given to him, she devised a means to trap the father-in-law in incestuous relation with her, which worked. So it was that Tamar conceived through her father-in-law and gave birth to twin sons, Phares and Zarah(Gen. 38).
But a bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord unto the tenth generation(Deut.23:2). So it was that the error of Judah delayed the granting of a king to Israel for ten generations. At the ninth generation, just prior to the tenth generation, Israel became agitated, and rejected the rulership of God over it, and demanded a king, in order that they might be like the other nations(1 Sam. 8:5). Although their demand for a king like the other nations displeased the Lord, He went ahead and gave them a king according to their own heart. If a man approaches God, and makes a demand of God according to the idol that is in his heart, God will answer him according to the idol that is in his heart(Ezek.14:1-5). Saul’s kingship ended in tragedy(1 Sam.31:1-10; cp, 2Sam.21:1-14).
At the completion of the tenth generation, God found David, the eighth and youngest son of Jesse, a man after his own heart, and anointed king over Israel to feed His sheep(1 Sam.16:1-13). Although David was a good man, he committed a grievous offence when he went in to Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, wife of Urias( 2 Sam.11). Idolatry led to murder. David later married Bathsheba after the death of her husband Uriah. The relationship was legalized, but the child conceived out of wedlock would die(2 Sam.11:27; 12:14-20). The spirits of sexual immorality and murder had come into the royal family. Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar(2 Sam.13:1-18). Absolom in revenge, killed Ammon(2 Sam.13:19-29).
Absolom later led a conspiracy against his father David which ended in his demise(2 Sam.15-18). Absolom defiled his father’s concubines by going in to them on the roof of the palace in the full face view of all Israel.
God chose Solomon to be king over Israel in the stead of his father David instead of his elder brother Adonijah. Adonijah demanded David’s harem from his younger brother, Solomon the king, and paid with his life for his error(1 Ki.2:13-25). Demanding the harem was as good as demanding the kingship.
Solomon, though blessed of God with a wise heart and understanding mind loved foreign women whom God in the law of Moses forbade the children of Israel to marry, because they would turn the heart of your son’s from me to worship the idols of the nations(Exod.34:16; Deut.7:3). In his old age, they turned his heart to serve the abominations of these nations(1 Ki.11:1-8).
Man is a dependent being. No man liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do we do it to the glory of our God (1 Cor.10:31 ). When men celebrate, they do so in the name of their gods. Sexual immoralities are idolatrous because they glorify not the God of Israel but the Devil and his hordes of fallen demons(Col.3:5). Men and women who revel in sexual immoralities are idol worshippers, whether or not they know and acknowledge it. They may call others pagans, but they themselves are the worst pagans. Besides, the worship of the gods of the Gentiles which the wives of Solomon brought into Israel involved sexual orgies and sacred prostitution. Besides, some of them were fertility cults.
Therefore the God of Israel was displeased with Solomon. The kingdom would be divided. But for the sake of David and Jerusalem which He had chosen, He did not in Solomon’s day but in the day of his son Rehoboam(1 Ki.11:9-13; 12:1-24).
The Northern kingdom went into idolatry from its cradle through Jeroboam, the king. Successive kings took their cue from him until the days of Arab, who married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, King of Sidon, who popularized and institutionalized Baal worship in the northern Kingdom.
The Southern Kingdom of Judah remained relatively free of institutionalized idolatry till the reign of Jehoram, who married Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab(2 Ki.8:16-19). When Jehu conspired against Joram king of Israel, and slew him with Ahaziah, King of Judah, and some members of the royal house of David who were related to Arab by marriage, Athaliah attempted to wipe out the seed of the royal house of David(2 Ki.9; 10:12-14; 11). Satan was behind it, to prevent the birth of the Messiah who would be of the royal seed of David.
“If the Lord had not left us a remnant, we would have been like unto Sodom, and like unto Gomorrah”(Is.1:9; Rom.9:29).
But God miraculously preserved Joash, of the seed royal, son of Ahaziah, through Jehoiada, the priest and his wife Jehosheba, the daughter of Joram, sister of Ahaziah(2 Ki.11).
c) Gentile Nations.
Because of idolatry, sexual immorality, and inability to keep the Shabbat of the Lord, God permitted the beast nations of Satan to persecute Israel. Satan’s aim though was to totally wipe out the nation of Israel, inasmuch as he was unable to completely deceive God’s chosen nation. If he had succeeded in deceiving them completely, God would have wiped them out Himself, or else had permitted Satan to wipe them out, thereby defeating God’s plan to redeem lost humanity and regain His rulership of the Earth, and therefore reclaim physical possession of it.
God promised that through the nation of Israel, all the families of the Earth shall be blessed(Gen.12:3); for salvation is of the jews(Jon. 4:22). Because Israel is the chosen nation, he is the object of Satan’s fury. Inasmuch as God has promised to destroy Satan through the seed of the woman, the disqualification and destruction of the obedient remnant of Israel would thwart the very heart of God’s plan, the provision of the redeemer and King through the nation of Israel. As we have sketched through the OT, history have abundant evidence of Satan’s successes and failures as he attempted to deceive, disqualify and destroy the nation of Israel.
God works through an obedient remnant. To deceive the whole nation of Israel is to disqualify and destroy the chosen line. Israel is still relevant to God’s plan in these last days. Even in this day and age, there is an obedient remnant according to the election of Grace(Rom.11:5). So disqualification and destruction were parallel strategies by which Satan simultaneously attempted to eliminate the chosen line of Christ. Destruction was his better option, but he could not destroy except he had first disqualified them by deception.
These nations that Satan has used to attempt to destroy Israel are the eighth beast empires of Satan(Rev. 13:1, 2; 17:3; Dan.7:3). Seven of them are history. One of them, the eighth and final one is yet to come.
Because Israel is back in her land which God gave them by a covenant of salt, and are in possession of her Holy City, Jerusalem, the eighth and final beast empire can become a reality literally overnight, initiating the events of the 70th seven of Daniel(Dan. 9:27; Rev.17:9-12).
The generation that witnesses the rise of the eighth and final beast empire shall not pass away till these things(the events of the 70th seven of Daniel) be fulfilled(Matt. 24:34).
One string that runs through the fabric of all these beast empires, is their hatred of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the chosen people of Israel. All these beast empires, at one time or the other, had had leaders who attempted to annihilate the chosen people of Israel. Besides the protection of the Almighty, Israel would have been gone long ago. Except the Lord Of Hosts had left us a seed, we would have been like unto Sodom, and like unto Gomorrah(Is.1:9).
3. Disqualify And Destroy The Messiah
Satan as the highest archangel of God dwelt in Heaven with the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, before his rebellion and expulsion from Heaven’s premises. So, he knew who Jesus was. If demons could recognize Jesus how much more Satan. He clearly understood that the incarnate Son came to redeem men and women of God’s own choosing who shall be the citizens of the kingdom of God.
When The Son incarnated(Phil. 2:6,7), He became the human seed of the obedient woman of Israel(Gen. 3:15). Satan also knows the Scriptures. He knew the first coming of the Messiah was to be a perfect sacrifice to redeem God’s elect from the kingdom of darkness, and that His second advent would be as The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah, to reclaim from Satan God’s rightful rule over the Earth which Satan usurped from Adam by luring him and Eve into disobedience.
a) Infanticide In Bethlehem
Several attempts were made at Jesus’ life during His first advent(Matt. 12:14; 26:4; Jon. 5:18; 7:1), and Satan was the architect of them all. While Jesus was yet an infant, Satan attempt to slaughter Him through Herod the great. This attempt was abortive as were all others he would make until the time appointed of God, but resulted in the death of all male infants under the age of two in the region of Bethlehem(Matt. 2:1-18).
At the beginning of Christ earthly ministry, Satan attempted to disqualify Him from carrying out His redemptive work, by tempting Him to disregard His Father’s will, and use His powers of divinity for His own human welfare and prestige(Matt.4:1-10; Heb.2:18; 4:15). He was at all points tempted like we are, yet without sin(Heb.4:15).
The main objective of Satan’s strategy was to blemish the perfect person of the Lamb of God, thereby disqualifying Him as being worthy to atone for the sins of mankind, particularly those chosen to become citizens of the kingdom of God. Jesus was never ignorant of Satan’s devices. God does not respond to unanticipated circumstances as men do, but as the omniscient sovereign Lord with foreknowledge of everything, He sits in control of all circumstances. Jesus was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. From God’s perspective, it was a test He had to pass, but from Satan’s perspective, it a test He had to fail. God the Father, directed the Holy Spirit to lead Jesus into the wilderness for the sole purpose of confronting and confounding Satan’s evil strategy.
b) The Temptation In The Wilderness
After fasting for forty days and forty nights, Jesus was naturally very weak and hungry. It was then that Satan came to Him and said: “if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread”. This was an attempt by Satan to lure Jesus away from dependence and submission to the Father which He agreed to when He became man. As God He could turn stones into bread. Nanotechnology has shown us that the basic matter is the same; it is the arrangements of the molecules that differ. Yes, Jesus, as God, as the Son of God, could turn stones into bread, but He would have been operating in His eternal intrinsic powers of divinity rather than reliance on the Father to take care of Him His own way, to which He agreed when He chose to become man. This is the essence of the “kenosis,” the emptying. He emptied Himself of these powers. He divested Himself of these powers. He laid aside these powers. But He could invoke them at any point in time. Herein lies the discipline, the moderation as it were. He agreed not to use these powers but totally rely on The Father to handle matters His way.
If He had turned stones into bread, He would have become like the first Adam, a subordinate of the Devil for ever, in need of redemption. Had He turned stones into bread, He would have become like the first Adam, to do things his own way, to live life his way, which is humanism. Jesus answered Satan, “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Defeated and humiliated, Satan was nonplussed.
The aim of the third temptation was the same as the first, although Satan used a different method. Here, what was in view was the sin of presumption. He took Him to the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, “fall down: for it is written He will give His angels charge over thee, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Although Satan quoted the scripture correctly, but he misapplied it. The premise was correct, but the inference was wrong. Jesus needed not to test The Father’s love. He knew the Father loved Him, and would do all that was necessary to protect Him. He did not need to act foolishly in order to show Satan that the Father loved and cared for Him. Had he been in danger, and it pleased the Father to send angels to protect Him, that would have been fine. But for Him to foolishly jump off the highest point of the temple, and presume that the Father would dispatch His angels to catch Him in mid air, or to begin to invoke the assistance of angels of His own accord was to test the Father’s love. And that was unacceptable. Had He done that, He would have been acting according to His own will not that of the Father. He answered Satan, “thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. Again Satan was outwitted and defeated but he was not ditered.
Secondly, Satan took Jesus to a very high mountain, and showed Him the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. He said, “all these have been delivered unto me, and I will give them to whomsoever I will. They will be yours if you fall down and worship me”. Here Satan offered Jesus the Kingdom without the Cross. But in actuality, there is no Kingdom without The Cross. What Satan never told Jesus that he, Satan was not Lord of the Earth. He was the god of this age(“eion,” the moving world, not the “cosmos”).
God the Father is the Lord of the Earth. Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of the heavens and the Earth(Gen.14). Jesus said, “I thank thee O Father, Lord of heaven and Earth(Matt.11:25). Satan never had the title deed of the Earth. Adam never had either. What Adam had was the certificate of occupancy which could be withdrawn at any time. The Title Deed of the Earth is the seven-sealed scroll in the Throne Room of The Father in the Temple of Heaven(Rev. 5:1-5). What Satan usurped from Adam was the c of o which will expire at the end of the sixth Millennium.
Satan is a liar. He never tells the whole truth. Half truths are lies. Had Jesus consented and bowed to him, bypassing the agony of the cross, He would have become a subordinate in the Satanic evil Kingdom just as all men are to this day. Hitler said, “tell a lie, tell a big lie, repeat so often, and people will start believing it.” Satan tells lies, big lies, and he repeats them so very often, for he is not about to change or recant.
Satan’s offer of the kingdom to Christ without the cross was the most grandiose and all-encompassing delusions. It went down to the heart of the cosmic conflict. Satan is the ruler of this age. He offered Jesus the rulership of this age, though he made it look like he offered Him the rulership of the Earth for ever. He offered Jesus the rulership of this age without the agony of the cross, the awful redemptive price, the sole specific purpose for which Christ came into the world. Had Jesus taken the easy way out, to regain the rulership of the Earth, and succumbed to that temptation, He would have disqualified Himself as the redeemer of the elect citizens of the kingdom of God. He would have lost His right to return again as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, to destroy the kingdom of darkness.
We have already pointed out that what Satan offered Jesus was not supreme lordship over the Earth, because he never had it, but as subordinate role under his own sovereign rule. But had He consented, He would not be able to reclaim God’s rule over the Earth at the expiry of the sixth Millennium. The condition for Christ receiving a limited rulership over the Earth, was His acknowledgement and worship of Satan.
Satan is so crafty, and yet so foolish. Satan was so arrogantly self-deceived that he foolishly thought he could beguile his creator, the very Son Of God, the embodiment of wisdom, by what would have amounted to a simple surrender and a total sale out. Even more foolish and insulting is the fact that the only thing Satan had to offer the Most Holy God is a corrupt kingdom of evil and sin, and wicked men and fallen evil angels. How could Jesus who judged and condemned Satan and his hordes of fallen evil angels become their subordinate in a corrupt evil world?
Had Christ submitted to Satan, the kingdoms of this world would have for ever remained the kingdom of darkness, inasmuch as the defeat of Jesus would be the defeat of the Father God, the Jehovah God. Jesus looked beyond the temporal, the things which are seen, to the eternal, the things which are not seen. While we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal: but the things which are not seen are eternal(2 Cor.4:18).
Jesus looked beyond the painful price He had to pay at His first advent, to the eternal glory envisioned by Daniel the prophet, in the day when He would be given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all people’s and nations and tongues might serve Him. His dominion will be an everlasting dominion which will not pass away, and His kingdom, one which will not be destroyed(Dan. 7:14).
Jesus knew that the very purpose of His incarnation was to die on the cross of Calvary. A prophet must not perish from Jerusalem(Luk.13:33). Had Jesus not died on the Cross Of Calvary as a sinless Lamb, without sport, unblemished, had He not risen from the dead three days later, the redemption of man would not have been consummated, man would have remained in sin, and God’s rule of the would remain in the control of Satan.
c) The Agony In The Garden Of Gethsemane.
When the time of His crucificion drew near, after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus said,
“now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I into the world. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out”(Jon.12:27,31).
In the Garden of Gethsemane, after the last super, Jesus said unto His disciples, sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
“Jesus took with Him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then said He unto them, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death: tarry here and watch with me. And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
He prayed this prayer three times.
“Then said He to them, rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me”(Matt. 26:36-46).
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the decisive victory over the powers of darkness in the cosmic conflict was won. In the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus bore the weight of the collective Sin of humanity, as much as he did on the cross. On the cross He had no option, but in the Garden He had option. But there He voluntarily chose to submit to His Father’s will even on to death just as Isaac did to the will of His Father Abraham on Mount Mariah. Dr Luke wrote that His sweats were like drops of blood(Luk.22:44). This is called haematidrosis. It had been recorded in medical history. Under intense emotion, the capillaries of the skin supplying the sweat glands break, and blood is mingled with sweat. The weight of the collective sin of humanity was too much to bear. But Jesus submitted to His father’s will. Satan had lost the battle over the souls of men and the rulership of the Earth for ever and ever.
Whatever had happened from that time until we enter the Eternal State, is the outworking of the victory scored in that fateful evening in the Garden of Gethsemane. In fulfilment of Gen.3:15, Satan bruised His heel on the cross of Calvary, but Jesus will crush Satan’s head at Armageddon(Jon. 12:31; 16:11; Rev.20:1-3).
4. Disqualify And Destroy The Citizens Of Christ’s Kingdom.
The beast Empires of Satan are the empires Satan has used in the cosmic conflict, throughout history in order to annihilate the nation of Israel. There are eight of these Empires, seven of them are history. The eighth is yet to come. Each of the past seven beast Empires attempted unsuccessfully to exterminate the nation of Israel, especially the faithful Jews who were obedient to the God of Israel while still resident in the land of Israel.
Egypt persecuted Israel in exile in the land of Egypt. While in Egypt, Pharaoh, King of Egypt ordered the extermination of all Jewish infants by the Hebrew midwives at the point of their delivery. Because this order was not observed by the Hebrew midwives, Pharaoh ordered the infanticide of all Jewish male infants by drowning in the Nile River.
It was at that time that Moses was born, an extremely good looking baby boy, who was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter through a miraculous turn of events. It was this Moses that God used to lead Israel out of bandage in Egypt, eighty years later and forged them into a nation in the wilderness through a period of forty years.
The Assyrians, a people known for their cruel treatment of war captives, and conquered peoples, under Shalnaneser V, led the Northern Kingdom of Israel into captivity in 722 BC, during the reign of Hoshea, and repopulated the cities of Northern Israel with foreign captives from Cutah and Zepharvaim. These foreigners intermarried with the poor Jewish peasants left in the land, from which originated the mongrel Jews called the Samaritans, a small number of whom remain to this day in the State of Israel.
In 701 BC, the Assyrian king, Senacherib, besieged the city of Jerusalem, in the days of Hezekiah. He only withdrew after the angel of the Lord slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers overnight. Twenty years later, in 681 BC, he was assassinated by his sons, Adramelek and Sherazer, who escaped to the land of Armenian, and Esarhadon his son reigned in his stead.
In 586 BC, Nechadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried away Israel into exile in Babylon, and destroyed the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah built by King Solomon. The Jews lived in exile in Babylon for seventy years according to the words of Jeremiah the prophet(Jersey.25:11,12; 29:10). They were freed from Babylonian captivity by Cyrus, the Persian, in his first year as the Emperor of the Medopersian Empire in 538 BC.
In the days of Xerxes, King of Persia, the Ahashuerus of the book of Esther, Haman, the son of Hammendatha, the Agagite, attempted to wipe out the Jews in the entire Medopersian Empire, that stretched from Africa to India. That plot was foiled by Esther and her uncle Mordechai through the invisible hand of Jehovah God. That attempt gave us the book of Esther and the Jewish feast of Purim.
Between 175 and 164 BC, the Greek Syrian king, Anteochus IV Epiphanes attempted to wipe the faithful remnant of observant Jews who resisted the imposition of the worship of his pagan god, the Olympian Zeus, whose Statue was the burst of Antiochus himself. The Jewish priest Mattatthias and his five Sons, rose up against and killed the officials of the king who came to the village of Modein to enforce the apostasy. By 164 BC, the Maccabeans had liberated the temple from the Greeks which Antiochus had previously defiled by offering a pig, an unclean animal, at the Jewish altar of Holocaust, and erecting the image of his pagan god in the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah. The rededication of the temple after cleansing, gave rise to the Jewish feast of Channukah, or the Feast of Lights or feast of dedication.
Under Roman rule, as soon as Jesus was born, Satan attempted to eliminate Him through Herod the Great(Matt.2; Rev. 12:1-5). Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome. Nero declared Christianity an illicit religion(“religio illicito”) in 64 AD. Nero ordered Vespashian to destroy the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, built by the returning exiles from Babylon, and refurbished by Herod the Great. When Vespashian was recalled to Rome to assume the position of the Emperor, his son, general Titus carried out the orders.
He destroyed the Temple in 70 AD. Over one million Jews were murdered, and the rest were taken captive to Rome, and sold into slavery. Thus began the Diaspora, the dispersion of Jews, God’s chosen people around the globe.
During the Bar Kochba rebellion(132-135 AD), in the days of Emperor Hadrian, led by ben Kosiva, whom rabbi Akiva recognized as the Messiah, and gave him the title of the son of the star of David, the Jews were defeated. Jerusalem was ploughed with yokes of oxen, rebuilt and renamed Aelia Capitolina. Jews were barred from the city under the pain of death.
The worst persecutor of Jews so far had been the Third Reich, the seventh beast empire of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler. This empire which persecuted Israel in exile, exterminated six million Jews, in its short period of existence(1933-1945), including two million Jewish children whose lives were snuffed out in the embryo. Jews were asphyxiated in box cars and gas chambers, and burnt to ashes in ovens and crematoria scattered all over East and Central Europe.
Unfortunately, the worst persecution of Jews and Christians is yet future. It shall be during the reign of the Antichrist, the Emperor of the eighth and Final beast empire. Precisely in the middle of the 70th seven, Satan and his hordes of fallen evil angels shall be cast down to the Earth from their above in the Dark Void and Starry heavens.
“Woe unto the inhabitants of the Earth, for the Devil is come down unto you with a great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time”(Rev.12:12).
He will go to make war with the remnant of the seed of the woman, Israel, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, whose son he had previously failed to devour(Rev. 12:1-5; 17).
When he is cast to the Earth, he possesses the antiChrist who declares himself God, and demands worship of all living earth dwellers. Satan’s aim is to defeat Jesus by disqualifying and destroying all potential citizens of his millennial Kingdom. Anyone who is beast-marked will be liquidated by Christ at Armaggedon. Anyone who is not beast marked, the antiChrist would attempt to ferret out and destroy. If he succeeds in destroying all who do not take the mark of the beast, and Christ destroys all those who are beast-marked, when He takes over physical possession of the Earth at Armaggedon, there would be no one left in this physical and mortal body of ours to repopulated the Earth in the Millennium. In other words, there will be no one left for Christ to reign over in the Millennium. By this means, he hopes to foil God’s plan to retake control of the Earth in the seventh Millennium. But this will not be allowed to happen: for God will cut short the The Great Tribulation so that all flesh will not be destroyed. If those days were not cut short, no flesh shall be saved(Matt. 24:22).
If it had not been for the restraining ministry of the archangel Michael(Dan. 10:21; 12:1; 2Thess.2:7), Israel would have been wiped off the Earth, and the professing church would have so compromised the truth of the Word of God for the Lie of Satan, to the point of being spiritually dead like the church of Sardis, which whilst professing to be alive is spiritually dead. Except the Lord of Host had left us a remnant, we would have been like Sodom, and like Gomorrah(Is.1:9).
The church of Sardis had a reputation for being dead while professing to be alive(Rev. 3:11). It is possible to have all the paraphernalia of religion without the life of Christ: having a form of godliness, but without the power thereof( 2Tim.3:5). In order to purify the church and the observant remnant of Israel, the restraining ministry of Archangel Michael shall be withdrawn after he has cast down Satan to the Earth from his abide in the Dark Void(Dan.12:1). Then there shall be great tribulation, such as have never been before right up to that time.
The Tribulation the Great: The Great Acid Test.
From the divine perspective, the conflict between God and Satan is not a contest. The outcome has been determined in eternity past long before the conflict began. From eternity past, God and His Christ have been the foreordained victors. But the issue at the heart of the conflict had alway been the same. Who would rule over the earthly domain of God’s universal Kingdom? Would it be the Christ, God’s human representative over the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom, who would reign over the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, or would it Satan, the usurper, who would reign over the kingdom of darkness in the earthly domain of God’s Universal Kingdom?
Throughout history, the battled rages on, but the final scenario of the cosmic conflict will played out at the end of times, or better still, End of the Ages, in the Day Of The Lord. The final confrontation of the cosmic conflict, The Day Of The Lord, is vividly detailed in the Scroll Of Revelation. Christ The Lamb of God who up this time since His ascension and session at the Right Hand Of The Majesty in the Heavens is seated, sits up, receives the seven sealed Scroll from the Father, breaks the seven seals, for He alone is worthy: to take the scroll, and to break the seals thereof; for thou wast slain and hath redeemed them to God with thy blood out of every tribe, tongue, people and nation(Rev.5:9). This act perfectly portrays the redemption of one’s own possession when the sealed title deed is broken by the rightful owner, following the fulfillment of all requisite rights and conditions(Jer.32:1-11).
Because of its unique centrality in the cosmic conflict, the final thrust of the conflict would involve primarily, the faithful remnant of Israel, the land of Israel, the Holy City Jerusalem, and the rebuilt third Temple on Mount Mariah, the Temple Mount. Because Satan would seek to abort the completion of the spiritual Kingdom of God, the completion of the mystery of God the salvation of the entire nation of Israel that survives the 70th seven of Daniel- the Jews-the natural line of Abraham through Jacob, would be faced with the choice of either yielding to the antiMessiah as their saviour and King, by accepting the mark of the Beast, or repudiate his authority, by refusal to accept the mark of the beast, and die physically. Because this is the only way Satan can prevent the return of the rulership of the Earth to God Almighty, the focus and target of the wrath of Satan will be primarily Jews who fail to capitulate to the authority of the Beast-antiChrist. These would be primarily, the woman, the faithful remnant from the natural line of Abraham through Jacob, and the rest of her spiritual offspring, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus, the believers in The Christ Jesus(Rev. 12:17).
As we have pointed out, the primary focus of Satan and Antichrist will be Jews and Christians. By extension, no man on Earth will be free from the Great Acid test, that all people living on the Earth will undergo during the 70th seven of Daniel, the hour of testing, which is about to try all them that dwell upon the earth(Rev. 3:10). Apostle Peter called it the fiery ordeal which is to try you as though some strange things happened unto you(1 Pet.4:12). The Prophet Daniel called it the time of distress(Dan. 12:1). And the Prophet Jeremiah, the Time Of Jacob’s trouble(Jer.30:7). Every man on Earth will be faced with the choice of whom to serve, the true or the false messiah? Jesus The Christ or The Antichrist? If one chooses Jesus the Christ, one is danger of being killed physically. To enforce this demand, Satan will indwell the antiChrist, the emperor of the Eighth and Final Beast Empire of Satan, give him his seat, and power and authority, to cause as many as will not worship the image of the Beast to be killed(Rev. 13:15).
In the middle of the 70th seven of Daniel, God will dispatch His angel, to warn the entire inhabitants of the Earth of the eternal consequence of their choices. “If any man worship the Beast and his Image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or his hand, 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 smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day and nor night, who worship the Beast and his Image, and whosoever receiveth the the mark of his name”(Rev. 14:9-11).
The second half of the 70th seven of Daniel shall be a horrible time of testing. The Prophet Zechariah tells us that only one-third of Jews who enter the 70th seven of Daniel will survive(Zechariah.13:8,9). The church that enter into the 70th seven of Daniel shall be largely a compromising church as exemplified by the church of Thyatira. The church of Sardis is a dead church, though with a reputation for being alive. Of the seven churches in Asia, which are representative of all churches in the end times, only one, the church of Philadelphia received unqualified commendations. The essence of this time of testing therefore, is to purge, purify and refine the church and the remnant of Israel as silver is refined, in order that they might abide the presence of the Shekinah, the everlasting fire which no man in his natural state can approach(1 Tim.6:16). And before the church can be considered worthy to enter into the presence of God(2 Thess.1:11), and become the bride of Christ.
“For the time is come that judgment must begin in the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?(1 Pet.4:17,18).
This time of testing is the Final Harvest, by the angelic reapers. During this time, the wheat and the tares which are growing together shall be separated(Matt. 13:30). During this period, believers will be hated of all nations on account of My Name, and many will fall away from the faith, because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold(Matt. 24:9,10,12). Many- within the professing church- will shrink away from Him at His coming(1 Jon.2:28). But the overcomers will endure to the end, and will be saved, because the proof of their faith being more precious than perishable gold, even though tested by fire, shall be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ(1 Pet.1:7).
The rest of the world will gladly accept the mark of the Beast, since they are by nature, the children of wrath even as others(Eph.2:3). They are of their father, the Devil, and the desires of their father they will do(Jon. 8:44). So, they will joyfully take the mark of the Beast, and worship, adore and serve the Dragon-Beast.The Battle Of Armaggedon.
The sin of rebellion which began in the Garden Of Eden, will have its final hurrah on the temple mount in Jerusalem when the Antichrist shall erect a statue of himself in the rebuilt Jewish third Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, demanding worship of all mortals. Three and one-half years later, the battle over the rulership of the Earth shall be decisively concluded at the Battle of Armageddon in the valley of Esdraelon in Northern Israel.
The war of Armaggedon shall begin in the general area of Jerusalem in the valley of Jehoshaphat. It shall move over to Megiddo in the valley of Jezreal where the Antichrist and the false Prophet shall be taken captive and cast alive into the Lake of fire and brimstone, and Satan incarcerated for one thousand years in the shaft of the abyss throughout the millennial reign of Christ.
Summary Of The Cosmic Conflict.
In eternity past, prior to the sin of Adam and the subsequent fall of man, God chose those He would redeem from the consequences of Sin. He chose that His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord would be both redeemer and King, and the Eternal Victor in the cosmic conflict. He chose the natural line of Abraham through Jacob as the lineage through which the Messiah would come.
The outcome of the cosmic conflict has never been in doubt: it was determined in eternity past. Christ was the foreordained Victor in eternity past.
During Christ’s First Advent, He reversed the consequences of the sin of Adam for those chosen in eternity past who would express faith in His finished and soteriological work on the Cross Of Calvary. At His Second Advent, He will rescue His Elect, reclaim the natural line of Abram, after the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, thus completing the spiritual Kingdom of God(Rom.13. 11:25). He will then vanquish the kingdom of darkness. Thus, ending Satan’s rule over the earthly realm of the Universal Kingdom of God which he usurped when he beguiled Eve.
He will Institute His one thousand year reign during which period Satan is incarcerated in the shaft of the abyss, and the antiMessiah and the False Prophet in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. In that Day, that is, during His millennial reign, the Lord will be king over all the Earth; in that day, the Lord will be the only one, and His Name the only one(Zech. 14:9). The cosmic conflict will be brought to its logical conclusion when Satan is finally cast into the Lake Of Fire And Brimstone, following the final revolt at the end of the Millennium(Rev. 20:10).
A Simplified Overview Of The Scriptures.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis are applicable to all mankind. They give us an understanding of God as the creator of the entire universe, Satan as the deceiver of all mankind, who fell from a lofty position of ruler of the earthly reign of God’s Universal Kingdom to the miserable and pitiable position of sinners in need of salvation.
From Gen. 12:1 to the end of the OT, the history of God’s dealing with Israel, and His instructions to them with regards to the coming of the Messiah is revealed. In addition, Satan’s attempt to compromise, disqualify and destroy Israel is also revealed.
The Gospels show us how Israel, the line of Abraham through Jacob, chosen by God to birth and nurture the Messiah, rejected the Messiah.
“He came to His own, and His own received Him not”(Jon.1:11).
Following His rejection by His own people, He set up the mystery form of His kjngdom: the mysterion(Matt. 28:19,20), the essence of which was, among other things, to make Israel jealous, in order that, at the completion of the 70th seven, when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, all Israel shall be saved: for there shall come forth out of Zion, the deliverer, and He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob(Rom.13. 11:25,26).
The first twelve chapters of the book of Acts constitute a renewed offer of the kingdom to Israel which She rejects once again. The rest of Acts of the Apostles right up to Jude are the the history and the rules of the mysterion– the Church.
The Scroll of Revelation is the second reoffer of the kingdom to Israel, who now accepts, and becomes the faithful woman, and the rest of her offspring who have the testimony of Jesus, the Church, and the fate of the Satanic Kingdom of darkness, it’s rulers and it’s citizenry. The simplifies overview of the Scriptures will give a framework for understanding of the whole of the scriptures as well as the end times.