Prepare for Satanís Attacks
Part 2

John Plunkett

Feast of Tabernacles 2016:  Day 7
October 22, 2016


Eleven days ago, on the Day of Atonement, we began our discussion on the two demises of Satan and his demons.

Just as a reminder for those of you who were with us or tuned in, and to bring up-to-date those who were not with us on the Day of Atonement, I will give you a quick overview of what we covered back then:

We were working our way through Revelation 12, where we started comparing the activities of Satan and his demons in the last days of this 6,000-year age of man as pictured by the Day of Atonement Ė comparing those activities with the activities of Satan and his demons after they are released from the bottomless pit in the last days of the Millennium, as pictured by this day Ė this seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

This is the Feast and, as commanded by God, we are all rejoicing; so it is admittedly somewhat unpleasant for us to consider these disagreeable prophecies during our seven days of rejoicing and of positive and joyous messages. 

But that "Gog and Magog" period at the end of the Millennium and its counterpart at the end of our own 6,000-year age are very real parts of what is going to happen.  God includes them in the anti-type of this seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles; so, for that reason alone, it would be very unwise of us to overlook them. 

Of course, Satan would love us to overlook them, and he would love God to overlook them too; but no, we need to focus on them today.

On the Day of Atonement, we finished in Revelation 12:11 with the prophecy of Satan and his demons being cast out of heaven and cast down to the earth.  As we will see, this will be great news for those living in heaven; but terrible news for the human beings living on the earth. 

Let's quickly Ė and without comment Ė read through the first eleven verses of Revelation 12, in order to bring ourselves up to date to where we are:

Revelation 12:
1: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
2: And she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth and in pain to be delivered.
3: And there appeared another wonder in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4: And his tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5: And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God and to His throne.
6: And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7: And there was war in Heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8: and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven.
9: And the great dragon was cast outóthat serpent of old called the Devil and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world. He was cast out onto the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10: And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, "Now have come salvation and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night.
11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.

That is where we finished on the Day of Atonement.  Letís pick it up now and continue in verse 12:

12: Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them!  Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea!  For the devil has come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time."

This is in the end-times of our age Ė of our 6,000 years.  This casting out and casting down of the accuser of the Godís children will be a time of great rejoicing for the inhabitants of heaven: for God the Father, for Jesus, for the angels and archangels, for the twenty-four elders and for the four living creatures. 

Satanís visits there must have been like a nagging pain to the heavenly host for such a long time.  Then at last, these visits will be over and it will be a time for great rejoicing in heaven.

But heavenís gain will be earthís loss.  That is when the big trouble will begin.  This will become a time of terrible "woe" for the inhabitants of the earth and sea.

Why will Satanís wrath be so very great at that time?  The main answer is because him and his cohorts being cast out of heaven and down to earth means that the first stage of his confinement will have begun.  Being banished from reentering the heavenly realm, he will be like a caged mad dog Ė so filled with indescribable wrath, that we just canít comprehend it.

Why?  Because, from that time on, his sphere of operations will be greatly restricted to earth.   God will not allow him to return to heaven to accuse us anymore.  But also, when that casting out and down happens, he knows that he has a very short time left to do his dirty work.

Please notice the word Ďwoeí in verse 12.  Whatever ideas you might ever have had of the word Ďwoe,í please forget them.  Because, if you think that this kind of woe is just a feeling of mild sadness or melancholy, please forget it.  A brief Bible study on the word will quickly reveal that, when the prophets and the apostles were inspired to write the word Ďwoe,í they were writing about times of terrible, terrible destruction.

13:  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man-child.

When this insanely angry Satan realizes what has happened to him, he will likely resolve to go immediately right after the "woman." 

Again, there are two symbolic aspects of this term "woman" that Satan will go after.  Firstly, he might go after some Ė or all Ė of the modern descendants of physical Israel.  Secondly, and much more certainly and of a much higher priority for Satan, he will go after the spiritual Israel of God Ė the true church.

It appears that Satan will, by then, realize that mere physical attacks on Godís true and faithful children would be limited in their effectiveness.  We read back in verse 11 that "they loved not their lives unto death."  Satan will realize that he must attack them spiritually

Try to picture Satan as he is cast out of heaven and as he is cast down to earth, perhaps descending to earth with great, lightning-like speed Ė screaming to his demon followers: "If our time is short, letís make the most of it!  Letís go get em!"
 
But then, when he thinks on this a bit more with his twisted but super-fast mind, perhaps we can imagine him slowing his decent and saying," On second thoughts, let's use a more subtle approach.  If we hit em too hard and too fast, they'll just put up their strongest defenses and we'll get nowhere."  

This is the mind of Satan.  I am paraphrasing here, of course.  I'm not sure exactly what weapons Satan and his demons will use; but I am sure that those weapons will include spiritual ones.

What do we need to do in preparation?  We need to put on Ė and keep on Ė our spiritual armour, the armour of God, the armour of light, and the armour of righteousness (Romans 13:12; II Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 6:11-18).  I'm sure that you know all of those scriptures, so I won't go into them today.  All of these kinds of armour are highly recommended and commanded by Jesus and by the apostle Paul.

14: And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

This is where the big separation comes about between physical Israel and the spiritual Israel of the church.  I believe that this is where spiritual Israel is singled out.  God here promises to provide His children with a way of escape, which we have called "the Place of Safety."

When we think about the Place of Safety, we might all have somewhat different ideas of what it is going to be like.  We donít really know; but one thing is for sure: God nowhere promises in the scriptures that every single member of His church be there.  Every single person who warms a seat in a Church of God congregation each Sabbath is not necessarily going to waltz into this Place of Safety.

 I'm not wishing to be a "downer" here; but we must not misinterpret the scriptures.  We must read them for what they say. 

For Godís own good reasons and purposes, some of His people Ė including the "Two Witnesses," by the way! Ė will not enter the Place of Safety. 

By necessity of their huge responsibilities, the Two Witnesses will remain outside of the Place of Safety.  But still, that doesnít mean that Godís promises of protection for His children do not stand rock-solid.  They certainly do!  He will give the surviving members of His church a Place of Safety.

And He will also give them a means of getting there.  He calls that means "the wings of a great eagle."  I looked into the Greek words translated as fly, wings and eagle in verse 14, and when we compare their use in this verse with other verses containing the same words, they certainly do seem to be literal. 

Back in the church in the 20th century, I remember some Church of God ministers and members speculating that God was going to provide huge jet airliners to transport His people to the Place of Safety.  We had a member in Victoria (Lawrence Mason, a lovely, truly gentle man) who was a retired jumbo jet pilot.  We all thought that God must have called him to fly us all to the Place of Safety.  But he recently died, so that evidently was not his calling!

We should remember too, going all of the way back to Exodus (19:4), that God also miraculously bore his Old Covenant "church in the wilderness" Ė physical Israel Ė on eagles' wings out of Egypt to their "Place of Safety" in order to protect them from Satan and his hatred that was expressed through his human symbol of Pharaoh.  As far as we know, they didnít go on jumbo jets.  They walked all the way!  Yes, with the great help of Godís miracles, to be sure.  But they walked, all the same. 

God will provide the means for His end-time New Covenant people too.  He will gather His from wherever they will be around the world to wherever He wants them to be.  It is going to be just as miraculous as the first Exodus was.  Probably even more so!

Where will the Place of Safety be?  Bible students have asked this question from the very earliest years of the church.  Will it be at Petra, as many adamantly insist?  Will it be on Mount Zion or Mount Sinai?  Or will it be at some other location that will by then have been turned into a wilderness?  Despite many speculations, we must honestly say that we do not know. 

But we do know that, even though the Place of Safety will be in a wilderness, it will be a place of nourishment from Satanís face and from his attacks on Godís children. 

As we have seen, the majority of these attacks will be spiritual assaults.  Please think about it!  This is Satan Ė not some human enemy Ė who'll be attacking the church.  Without Godís protective armour, even the mighty rock walls of Petra would be incapable of keeping out Satanís spirit, attitudes and temptations.  Wherever the Place of Safety might be, God will provide the most nourishing spiritual food there for His children and again, as we have already seen, Godís children will overcome Satan and his attacks Ė not by some physical fortress Ė but by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and by the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18; I Thessalonians 5:8).

We believe that the "time, and times, and half a time" mentioned in this verse indicate that Godís people will be in the Place of Safety for three and a half years.  Some brethren believe that Jesus will be there in person; but, as I canít find any solid scriptural evidence of this idea, I donít believe that He is going to return once to sort us out in the Place of Safety, then go back up to heaven, then return for a third time at the beginning of the last trump. 

One way or another, Jesus will be nourishing His brothers and sisters.  The Greek word translated nourished in verse 14 is Ďtrephoí (Strongís 5142), which is elsewhere translated feed and bring up.  It can also mean support, breast feed, fatten, and nurture.  In this case, all spiritually, of course. 

During these three and a half years, in the last of the last days of this age, outside the Place of Safety area, wherever that might be, the "great tribulation" will be raging (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 7:14) and the two witnesses will be preaching Godís truth to the world.

15:  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

So, here we see the spiritual woman once again Ė the Bride of Christ Ė after having flown to a place of safety in the wilderness.  When that happens, Satan is going to violently gush out a flood of water after her, trying and knock her off her feet and carry her away. 

There is a possibility that this might partially refer to physical water, partially; but certainly not only physical water.  Satan knows that by merely killing Godís people, by drowning them, all he would be doing Ė in their consciousness, at least Ė is expediting their passage into the Kingdom of God. 

Again, please remember and never forget that Satan is not a human being.  He is a very powerful spirit being.  This water that spews out of Satanís spiritual mouth is going to be spiritual "water." 

Please remember what we were talking about the other day when we talked about the Laodicean church.  We saw the Church of God symbolically being in the safety of Jesusí mouth, and we read about the spiritual healing properties of what comes out of Jesusí mouth.  This, then, appears to be another of Satanís counterfeits.  This is something that is coming out of Satanís mouth.

Water, as we know, is one symbol of spirit.  More than likely, Satanís water will be a great, violent flood of his counterfeit religious spirit.  We could refer to it as his "un-holy spirit" which he is going to spew out of his mouth in a final attempt to carry the Bride of Christ away and to divert her from her goal.  Will he he successful?  Let's see:

16: And the earth helped the woman; and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

How will the earth help the woman, the church?  I am not 100% sure.  I admit that I donít have all of the answers.  But this is a good point to meditate on.  It appears that Jesus will cause some kind of hole in the earth Ė some kind of cavern Ė to open up, in order to divert Satanís flood and to prevent it from deluging His fleeing Bride.  But still, if the flood is spiritual, we may be sure that the cavern will also be spiritual.  Or partially so.  Maybe this cavern will be the Place of Safety.  It is hard for us to get our minds around exactly what that is going to be.

17: And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and he went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

After being thus thwarted by his spiritual flood fails to destroy Godís fleeing church, Satan is going to be even more absolutely livid with anger.  So he will turn up the heat even higher. 

Hopefully, the majority of the church will by then have been taken to the Place of Safety.  But now here we read of a "remnant" Ė actually, "the remnant Ė of her seed." 

Satan will pour out his increased wrath.  He is going to actually ramp it up even more on the remnant of the offspring of the woman.  I'm sure that I donít want to be in that remnant! 

But who are the people who will make up this remnant?  There has to be a logical explanation and this is another question that Godís people have probably been asking since the earliest days after John put these words of Jesus' Revelation in writing. 

These people are described as those who keep Godís commandments and who possess Jesusí testimony.  From this, we know that this remnant will certainly be made up of members of Godís true church.  They will be commandment keepers.  They will be people who possess Jesusí testimony. 

The English word "remnant" is translated from the Greek word "loipoy" which means remaining ones, others and residue. 

The NKJV renders this phrase, "the remnant of her seed" as "the rest of her offspring."

The words offspring and seed are translated from the Greek word "sperma" which can also mean something sown, issue and this last one, which I find to be really interesting: a remnant as if kept over for planting.

I'm not being dogmatic about what I am going to say now; but, if we substitute these translations back into verse 17, we might understand it to mean that Satan, the dragon, "went to make war with the remnant of her remnant." 

Hopefully, for their sakes, this would mean that the remnant would be very small in number; but perhaps that might be just wishful thinking on my part. 

There are two very intriguing ideas here for us to meditate on.  First of all, the idea of the remnant being the womanís seed or offspring, and not the woman herself.  I have a tough time getting my mind around this.  They are definitely Godís people.  They keep the commandments of God and they have the testimony of Jesus Christ; but they are the womanís seed, and not the woman herself.  Please think on that for a minute. 

The other possibility is that the remnant might be some "seed that will be kept over for planting." 

In Matthew 3 and Luke 3, Jesus is recorded as saying that the majority of the spiritual wheat grain from His spiritual harvest will, at the resurrection, be gathered into His spiritual "garners" Ė silos or barns.  

What happens to physical wheat grain?  After it is threshed and winnowed, it is kept in a barn or a silo Ė later to be milled into flour Ė which eventually will be baked into bread Ė or other baked foods for human consumption.

At the time of the First Resurrection, the dead-in-Christ Ė the spiritual wheat grain who have been sown in death Ė will be raised as spirit beings (I Corinthians 15:42-44), will be gathered and will meet Him in the air.  

God's people who will have been still physically alive up to that time Ė also His spiritual wheat grain Ė are to be changed into spirit beings in the first resurrection they for use and work in the Millennium (I Corinthians 15:51-52).

Although I am not at all dogmatic on this, might Jesus perhaps keep this "remnant" as a kind of mortal "seed kept over for planting."  Again. just a possibility.  Mortal seed with personal experience of God's way of life - kept over into the first years of the Millennium for replanting amongst their fellow, previously unconverted human beings. 

Another thought on this is that, as this remnant is a seed or offspring of the woman Ė the Church of God Ė is there a possibility that this seed might be some of the literal, human offspring Ė children of Church of God members?  I donít know for sure.

Could another possibility be that this remnant might be some of those who will get caught up in the end-time "falling away" (II Thessalonians 2:3) but who will repent and be converted at a later time?  How many of our children and former brothers and sisters have strayed away?  Will God perhaps grant them repentance and allow them to come back at that time? 

Again, we donít know for sure; but these are good things to meditate on.  One day we will find out. 

Still, whatever the eventual reality, it appears that, for Godís divine purpose, those who constitute this remnant will not be granted entry into the Place of Safety; but must continue until the time of the First Resurrection to be exposed to Satanís final and most vicious attacks.  This is not a very pleasant thought.  

But again, Godís two faithful witnesses will not be in the Place of Safety.  We canít accurately say that they will counted among that remnant; but because the two witnesses will have been especially chosen by God but will not be in the Place of Safety, we should take care not to assume that only the brethren harbouring Laodicean attitudes will be the ones who are not allowed into the Place of Safety.  In fact, it might be the most faithful ones Ė those that God sees have the greatest strength and courage Ė that will be left outside the Place of Safety to be exposed to Satanís final attacks.  We donít know.

Here at the end of Revelation 12, John pretty well cuts off this part of the prophecy dealing with the dragonís attack on the remnant of the woman.  We are not given all the details; and maybe that is a good thing!  Maybe God has hidden the details from us perhaps because He knows that we couldnít handle them!

This dragon, as we know, is Satan, and he is mentioned again in Revelation 13 and 16 as the inspiration and the power behind the various beasts and the false prophet.  But when the dragon actually returns to centre stage in Revelation 20, it is only to mention that his power and his influence will be severely reduced at that time.  But temporarily!

Revelation 20: 
1: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2: And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Satan, when he was a super-archangel, was named Heylel.  Not Lucifer.  Heylel.  We believe that he was one of three super-archangels, all three apparently having equal strength. 

There are a couple of scriptures that indicate, a couple of times, that the archangel Michael had a major struggle restricting certain of Satanís activities. (Daniel 10:13; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7).  Can you even imagine that?  It is hard to be able to understand these monumental forces that are at work there.  So, in order for this angel of Revelation 20 to bind and imprison Satan, Satan must be weakened. 

But how?  How will Satanís power and influence be so drastically diminished in order for an angel to be able to grab him, chain him up and throw him into the bottomless pit?  We have already read part of the solution back in Revelation 12.  Letís just go back and read it again:

Revelation 12:
10: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."

Do we have this power now?  On our own, no we donít.  But here is the second part of the solution; the antidote to Satan and his poison.

Revelation 17:14:
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Again, the dragonís power and influence will be severely reduced.  But it will be temporarily reduced; and that is very important for us all to remember. 

What happens next?  

Exactly what we have been picturing for the first six days of the Feast of Tabernacles.  We have been picturing the Millennium, as we see as we continue now in Revelation 20:

Revelation 20:
4: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years...
Verse 6: Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

We read this every year at the Feast.  The thousand years mentioned here in verses 4 and 6 is the same thousand years that is mentioned in verses 2 and 3.

The seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles has often been given as symbolizing the thousand years of the Millennium.  Some disagree with this and some have different symbolisms; which is fine.  But I am happy with this. 

If we use this symbolism, take the thousand years and divide it by the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, we come up with 142.857 years per Feast Day.  But for simplicity's sake, letís round it up to 143 years per Feast Day. 

Now, as we move into verse4 7 of Revelation 20, we are seeing here, prophetically, the final period of the Millennium.  Either the very last years of the Millennium or maybe even the very last days of the Millennium.  

Personally, I donít believe that this is going to happen in the Last Great Day period because I believe that, once we get into the Last Great Day period, that time is totally set aside and holy for the wonderful events symbolized by that day Ė untainted by Satan and sin.  I believe that Satan will have no part at all in the anti-type events of the Last Great Day.  I believe he will be gone by the beginning of that day.

Revelation 20:
7: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9a: And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved cityÖ

It is almost unbelievable that this is going to happen.  After his release, Satan is going to have a surprisingly large amount of success when he goes up to tempt the remaining people who will still be living as human beings at that time, during the final days of the Millennium.  

There is a good possibility that there will be a lot of human beings by then as we can be sure that there will have been a lot of "being fruitful and multiplying" during the Millennium!

We would like to believe that the number of these deceived human beings will just be a localized few.  But sadly, that is not the case, according to Godís Word.  We are told here that Satan is going to deceive the nations "in the four quarters of the earth" and that the numbers of those deceived are going to be "as the sand of the sea" and that they will go "up on the breadth of the earth."  This may be hard to believe; but this is Godís Word and is a solid part of the symbolism of this seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  Whether we like it or not, it is in there and we have to face it as fact.

We may safely assume that, as the years of the Millennium go by and especially as this final 143-year "day" progresses, Jesus, and His spirit-born brothers and sisters are going to expend an increasing amount of extra warning effort on the human population:

Seven years to go and Satan is going to be coming back... Get ready! ...
Six years to go and Satan is going to be coming back... Get ready! ...
Etc.

How could people who have enjoyed such wonderful peace and prosperity under the perfect rulership of Jesus Christ in the Millennium be so easily fooled when Satan is released?  Possibly to some humans living in the final years of the Millennium, these "stories" about the banished Satan and his demons may have almost become like mere ancient myth.  Perhaps it will be like in the latter days of our 6,000 year age when the people of the world have no idea who is causing all of the terrible events that are happening.  They can blame any human being they choose to; but they have no idea that ultimately, it is Satan who is causing all of these terrible things.

How soon we mortals do forget!  But why should we be surprised at this?  Atrociously evil men like Hitler and Stalin lived less than eighty years ago; but as the generations that lived during the middle years of the twentieth century who had first-hand experience of their evils grow old and die, the names and crimes of such monsters have become mere myths to many of the young people of today, 

Most Ė if not all Ė humans alive in the final years of the Millennium will never have lived in a Satan-ruled world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Ephesians 2:2) and, although they will have had many strong advance warnings, they will have had no direct experience with the devilís hugely devious ways.  Perhaps many will be lulled by the peace that will have reigned on earth for a thousand years.  

It is likely that Satan will use his thousand-year confinement to plan his final, last-ditch strategy.  Adolf Hitler was imprisoned in 1923 and 1924, and it appears that when he was in the prison he planned some of what he was going to do when he came out.  And when he did  come out he was the most wrathful, vicious and deceptive that he had ever been.  We can easily imagine that Satan is going to be something like that.  Even more so!  He will have a thousand years Ė not just two Ė to plan what he is going to do.

But now for some good news.  However, this first part is actually bitter-sweet news for the human beings who are going to be caught up in this Gog and Magog rebellion:

Revelation 20:9b: Ö and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Now the really good news:

10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are {will also have been cast}, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

That will be Satanís fate... the same fate that he tries to foist on human beings.  He tries to get people to believe that if they are naughty, they will be kept alive in an ever-burning hell for all  eternity. 

What will be the final fate of all of those people who he deceived to participate in the Gog and Magog rebellion?  Will they be lost forever?  I donít know.  Will it be a case of "You should have known better.  You should have heeded all of those many advance warnings"?  Or will they be given a chance to repent in the second resurrections.  I don't know.  God will be their Judge.

But let's come back, just once again, to the last days of this age.  

Is Satan like a myth to any of us?  Whether or not these are the last days of man, for each of us individually, our time on earth is very limited.  Even if Jesus doesn't return for another twenty or thirty years, some of us will not be around!  So, for many of us, these are our "last days"!  We need to be constantly alert and wary, because the dragon is alive and well.  He is still walking to and fro on the earth (Job 1:7; 2:2), pacing like an angry lion ready to pounce, continually trying and tempting Godís people:

I Peter 5:8:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 

As we have seen, when he has a success, he hurries up to Godís throne to put in an accusation against us: "Hey!  Did you see what Fred Bloggs just did?" 

Please keep in mind that this is not some kind of story.  This is the living Word of God.  Please keep in mind that Satan is a great and powerful angelic prince and that he probably holds the same rank as the loyal archangels Michael and Gabriel.  

For Godís divine purpose, Satan has been temporarily allowed to remain the prince of this world and he already has the vast majority of its people firmly in his grip.  It is you and me that he is really after.  His accent in the last days of this age will be on tempting God's people over to his side by the spewing out of the flood of his "unholy spirit."

As we look at the increasingly troubled world events of today, most of Godís people must be asking themselves, "Have the events of Revelation 12:9 taken place?  Has Satan been cast down to the earth yet?"  The recent inhumanly vicious terrorist attacks and bizarre weather conditions would suggest that he has been cast down. 

We donít know for sure; but personally, I donít think so.  Because I think that when he does get cast down, it is going to be so horrendous that we are really going to know about it. 

As we cannot be sure of the timing, what are we to do?  God gives us the instruction that we must keep zealously and carefully watching and praying!  Jesus tells us so repeatedly.  If you have access to a Bible concordance, when you have the time, please look up the scriptures containing the word "watch."  Jesus told us to watch.  Paul told us to watch.  Peter told us to watch.  John told us to watch.  Here are just a few of the relevant scriptures:

Matthew 24:42:
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 

Matthew 25:13:
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. 

Mark 13:33-37:
Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.  It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming Ė in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning Ė lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!" 

Luke 21:36:
Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. 

Acts 20:31:
Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. 

Colossians 4:2:
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 

I Thessalonians 5:4-8:
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this day should overtake you as a thief.  You are all sons of light and sons of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.  But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 

II Timothy 4:5:
But watch you in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry. 

Jesus repeats His warning through the apostle Peter:


I Peter 4:7:
But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 

He repeats His warning through the apostle John:

Revelation 3:3:
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

As God and His family will increase their warnings to their people in the last years of the Millennium age, I believe that God will be increasing His warnings to His begotten children now, as we get closer to the end of this age.  Please keep those two parallels in mind. 

God is preparing true Christians for the Kingdom of God and, as part of this preparation, we have a duty to be getting ready for the casting down to earth of Satan and his demons.

Our Father and our Elder Brother love us and care for us.  Through their Word, our Father is shouting at us in love.  He is saying, "Stay awake!"  And if we are asleep or dozing like one of those unwise virgins, He is telling us to wake-up.  He is shouting at us.  We must heed their urgent warnings so that we can be sure that we will be counted worthy to be around to help those people resist Satan when he is released at the end of the Millennium.  We have a job to do.  Maybe part of our job now is to prepare for that.  

Again, we need to be watching world news and conditions.  But we must remember how devious Satan is. We should take care to look behind the major headlines.  Since "911," have we perhaps been putting all of our "watching time" into the news of terrorist attacks and other mid-east strife.  I am not saying that these are not important.  They might be significant.  But if our attention is on the headlines alone, Satan can take advantage of our tunnel-vision and cause other lower-key, but equally-significant, fulfillments of end-time prophecy to slip by us unnoticed.

As those people during the last 143-year "day" of the Millennium will need to be preparing themselves for Satanís release, in the same way, in what perhaps might be the last years of this age, we need to be preparing ourselves for the casting down of Satan and his end-time attacks.

I cannot think of a better verse to finish on than this "watch" verse from Paul:

I Corinthians 16:13:
Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

God gives us the final word and admonition on this.  In this time of increasing physical danger and, more importantly, spiritual danger, it is our Great God who is able to give us the protection that we all need.  It is our Great God and Jesus Christ who can give us the courage that we all need so very, very much:

Watch!

Stand fast in the faith!

Be brave!

Be strong!


JHP/pp/jhp