PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART XXXV

The Book of Revelation is no mystery nor is it a human product of imagination! The Book of Revelation is an accurate covert account of the struggle between the forces of good and evil. Both sides, good and evil, need men and women to fight for them. And what is the fight all about? It is about “God’s Image and God’s Likeness” called “man.” It was about Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus, Peter, and down to you and to me. Both sides want human loyalty and human devotion. Revelation unveils, to us, how the conflict between good and evil will end, with Christ the Lamb as the “Victor” and with Satan as the doomed one forever. Revelation is a projected blueprint of the final stage of human history and the world. Revelation is the harvest of the world! And man has and man continues to reap what he/she has sown. The ending of the Book of Revelation is the beginning for every believer. Without the projected intentions of God and the Lamb in “The Book of Revelation,” the salvation of man and the world is incomplete. To accomplish “God’s Redemptive Purpose,” man must partner with the Spirit of God.

And he (angel) said to me (John), “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place. And behold, I am coming soon.” Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.

I John am he who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

“I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let him who hears say, “Come.” And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires, take the water of life without price.

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book; if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come. Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus, be with all the saints. Amen (Revelation 22:6-21).

THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL BEGAN IN HEAVEN

The witness to the first conflict between the good angels and the bad angels was the Pre-existent Son of God, and Jesus the Christ (John 1:1-2; 8:58). The fight was over the Son of God entering the world! And to stop Satan from destroying God’s handiwork. In the beginning, Satan was allowed to sit with the good angels in heaven. The writer of the Book of Job was granted a look in Satan’s activity, whose main objective was to hurt a godly man called “Job.”

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come?” Satan Answered the LORD, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nought? Hast thou not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse thee to thy face.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand.” So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD (Job 1:6-12).

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:7-12).

SATAN’S FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS WAS TO DISHONOR THE BIRTH OF CHRIST AND KILL BABY JESUS IN INFANCY  

While Mary was pregnant, an angel of the Lord stopped Joseph from leaving Mary. And Herod, the king, was set to kill the “Baby King.” The writer of Revelation had a bird’s eye view of a royal heavenly queen being persecuted by a vicious dragon while she was with child. Herod, the dragon’s agent was ready to terminate the infant Jesus. However, the angel of the Lord convinced Joseph to take his family out of Herod’s reach.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this,behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25).

Now when they (wise men) had departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord has spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation. Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled because they were no more.”

But When Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene” (Matthew 2:13-23).

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is o rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days (Revelation 12:1-6).

SATAN’S TASK WAS TO DISSUADE JESUS FROM HIS HEALING AND FROM HIS REDEMPTIVE MISSION

The moment Jesus was inducted as the Messiah, by John in baptism, the Holy Spirit visibly settled on Jesus. Then the devil dragged Jesus into the desert and tried to bribe Jesus with fame and with riches. The devil failed! However, the devil did turn Jesus’ hometown and his own family against Him. They even questioned Jesus’ insanity and accused Him of being in league with the chief of demons:

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am well pleased.”

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him (Mark 1:9-13).

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights and afterward he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Again the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13 supports Matthew).

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read, and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And the rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which the city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through in the midst of them he went away (Luke 4:14-30).

Then he (Jesus) went home, and the crowd came together again so that they could not even eat. And when his friends heard it, they went out to seize him, for they said, “He is beside himself.” And the scribes who came down, and from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strongman; then indeed he may plunder his house.

Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they set to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers’ are outside, asking for you.” And he answered, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around on those who say about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mark 3:19b-35).