GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
Revelation 12:12-16 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
This passage begins with the contrast between heaven and earth after the expulsion of Satan. The celebration in heaven takes place in verse 12: "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them." When Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven, it's the "cleaning of the stables"; the stench of the fallen angels in heaven since prehistoric times is removed.
In Revelation 12:12">REV 12:12 the Greek verb translated "rejoice" is euphraino, which means to be glad, rejoice, and celebrate and connotes jubilation over God's act of judgment. He has thrown Satan and all fallen angels out of heaven. This is addressed to all the elect angels and believers in heaven at that time, some in resurrection bodies (Church-age believers) and others in interim bodies awaiting their resurrection (the Old Testament saints). The resurrection is divided into four stages. The first resurrection is pictured as a battalion "pass-in-review," divided into four echelons,1CO 15:20-24, "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power."
1. Alpha Company: The resurrection of Christ at the end of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union; He is "the first fruits of them that slept." See Mat 28, Mar 16, Luk 24, Joh 20?21, ACT 2:31?34.
4. Delta Company: The resurrection of the millennial saints at the end of the Millennium. (At the Rapture, only those who were members of the Church-age receive their resurrection bodies.)
When Church-age believers die, they are absent from the body and face-to-face with the Lord, which means an interim body, a body that can have great happiness.
2CO 5:1 answers the question, "What happens when I die?": "For we know that if the earthly tent [analogous to our human body] which is our house is torn down, we have a building [another house] from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Our present body is likened to a tent. When we die, there is another body waiting for us called the interim body, given to us at death and likened to a building; then comes the resurrection body, by analogy, a mansion. Once our earthly tent is dismantled, we have a "building from God," the interim body. It is called "a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," which literally means in the Greek, "indefinitely durable." The interim body lasts until the Rapture.
Paul goes on in 2CO 5:2, "For indeed in this house [physical body] we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling [resurrection body] from heaven" Due to the problems of this life and this temporary body that faces adversity, we desire to put on our "dwelling," our resurrection body.
Our present body is like a deteriorating "pup-tent" in contrast to the resurrection body, which is life in a permanent mansion. In 2CO 5:3-4, "Inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent [this present human body], we groan, being burdened [the problems of physical body], because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." There will never be a time when you do not have a house for your soul and spirit. There is always a body to clothe the invisible essence of the believer, therefore, the death of a believer should be a time of celebration and not mourning.
2CO 5:5-7 continues, "Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. [The Holy Spirit indwells us, guaranteeing our future glorification.] Therefore, being always of good courage [because we have a personal sense of destiny and are content], and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord for we walk by faith, not by sight"
We conduct our lives on the basis of perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine and not on the basis of the way things appear for the moment. All that is written in scripture is eternally durable; all that is seen in the material universe is temporary and destined to change or for ultimate destruction, Mat 24:35, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away."
2CO 5:8-10 continues, "We are of good courage, I say [due to our personal sense of destiny and contentment, sharing the happiness of God], and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home [face-to-face] with the Lord. Therefore also we have as our ambition [motivation], whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all [Church-age believers] appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."
"Good" is the Greek word agathon, referring to the production of divine good while living in your "tent" (human body). "Bad" is the Greek word phaulos, which refers to religion, activism, asceticism, human good, or human moral evil. However, whether a believer is a winner or a loser when he dies, he goes to heaven and has great happiness.
The interim body has capacity for fantastic happiness, and believers in the interim body will be celebrating-Old Testament Saints and Tribulation saints and martyrs-and it will be quite a party, Revelation 12:12">REV 12:12, "For this reason, keep celebrating" The verb for "keep celebrating" is an imperative of permission, which implies no "gloating." This celebration is free from gloating. The elect angels and believers in heaven all celebrate in the most pure, virtuous sense of the word (see OBA 1:12 and PRO 24:17-18). There is no place for gloating, at any time, under any circumstances, for the born-again believer; gloating eliminates virtue, honor, and integrity, in the believer's life. Constant gloating is sure to produce instability and unhappiness, and can even result in psychosis and psychopathic behavior later in life.
Back in Revelation 12:12">REV 12:12, "For this reason, keep on celebrating, O heavens" The Greek word translated "heavens" is the vocative plural noun ouranoi, referring to the three categories being addressed here: the elect angels who entered into an eternal relationship with God during the prehistoric angelic conflict, Church-age believers in resurrection bodies, and Old Testament and Tribulational believers in interim bodies. This is a great celebration because everyone involved has the capacity to celebrate without arrogance. This celebration in heaven occurs simultaneously with one of the worst times in human history-a time of wrath (1Th 5:9, REV 6:16-17), judgment (REV 14:7), indignation (ISA 34:1-3), punishment (ISA 24:20-21), trial (REV 3:10), trouble (JER 30:7), destruction (JOE 1:15), and darkness (ZEP 1:14-18). If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ today, you will not be here during this period-you will be celebrating in heaven. The contrast is striking-immense celebration in heaven versus tragic disasters on earth.
We must make a distinction in Revelation 12:12">REV 12:12 between the "heavens" and "you who dwell in them." The Greek word for "dwell" is skenountes, which means tent, and it often refers to the human body and here refers specifically to the believers in the interim body; in JOH 1:14, this verb is used when Christ "tabernacled" among us. In Revelation 12:12">REV 12:12, it refers to the Tribulational martyrs and Old Testament saints. We can see why they should celebrate when we look atREV 6:9-10, "And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?'"
It is only a matter of time before the vengeance of God comes through, ROM 12:14-21.
1. God can take any evil situation, such as the persecution of believers in the Tribulation period, and convert it into divine good, GEN 50:20, "'As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.'"
2. Whenever someone tries to curse or destroy another believer, the Lord will turn the curse into a blessing when the believer operates in the faith-rest drill, DEU 23:5 "'The Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you.'"
3. When evil attacks you, the Lord can turn it into a blessing, providing that you operate in the faith-rest drill and let Him handle the situation.
4. The believer does not have to fight and defend himself; God will do that for the believer who operates in the faith-rest drill, 2TH 1:6.
5. This is why we are also told to stop being anxious and worried and let God handle any unjust and unfair situation,ISA 35:4.
6. We are commanded to never take revenge, ROM 12:19.
7. If you are being mistreated in any situation, do not lift up your hand against another person, 1SA 24:12.
8. If you have been robbed by another believer, do not take out your vengeance and frustration on him, but give it over to the Lord, 1TH 4:6.
9. Never repay evil with evil and give someone what you think that they deserve, PRO 20:22.
10. When someone has wronged you, let the Lord repay him according to his deeds, 2TI 4:14.
As we read on in Revelation 12:12">REV 12:12, "Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you" The "woes"are all related to the release of demonic activity and the presence of fallen angels on earth. The first woe mentioned in REV 8:13 deals with the attack of the first demon assault army in Rev 9. The second woe in REV 9:12-11:14 deals with the attack of the second demon assault army. The third woe covers the time from Satan's expulsion from heaven to earth until his imprisonment in REV 20:1-3. This "woe" is the Greek word ouai, which is an exclamation of grief. Notice that the earth is mentioned first and then the sea. The distinction is made because we are talking about creatures who inhabit the land and creatures who inhabit the sea; however, this verse is not talking about fish or people in the sea. The Greek word for "sea" is thalassan, which refers to the flood waters of the universal flood where the fallen angels are imprisoned. It is talking about the sea as the most powerful set of gates ever used for a prison.
The Bible teaches that there was a pre-Adamic race on earth, and also correlates the sea with judgment, as in REV 20:13, "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds."
According to REV 21:1, there is no more sea in the new heaven and new earth. The sea appears to be the location where fallen angels who have broken the rules of the angelic conflict are incarcerated, 2Pe 2:4, "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment"
The Bible distinguishes between "fallen angels" and "evil spirits." We do not know much about the distinction, but many scholars believe that the demons inhabited the earth at one time in physical form and that God incarcerated them in the sea or the part of Hades called "the deep." This distinction between demons and angels was understood by the Jews, Act 23:6-9. These creatures were said to be different than the fallen angels and they are believed to have populated this earth in the flesh before the ruin described in GEN 1:2, "And the earth became formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep." We read that the demons are continually seizing the bodies of men to use them as their own, indicating a tiresome unease and a wandering unrest, a longing to escape the intolerable condition of being unclothed-for which they were not created. They are even willing to enter into the filthy bodies of swine (MAT 8:28-32).
Revelation 12:12">REV 12:12 continues with the phrase, "Having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time." The expulsion of Satan from heaven results in confining him to human history and his total frustration. "Great wrath" is two Greek words, megan and thumon, which form an idiom, literally meaning "foaming with fury."
Thumos is derived from the Greek verb thuo, and means boiling or foaming with anger or rage. Satan demonstrates frustrated arrogance from his own bad decisions. Arrogant people never take the responsibility for their own decisions, just as Satan never will. When you make bad decisions, you start hurting; you blame others and fly into a rage, resulting in vindictiveness, implacability, irrationality, and revenge. Revenge motivates terrible violence and great historical disaster.
EPH 4:31 deals with two types of anger found in the word of God: "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice." The Greek noun translated "anger" is orge, which has to do with mental attitude anger, an inner disposition of anger. This word is used in a powerful and positive way inMAR 3:5, where the Lord Jesus Christ was in a room filled with legalists, and He was "looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart."
In the negative, sinful way, this word means to be mentally angry and to reveal it by your disposition, qualities, and traits. The Greek noun translated "anger" is the same one we have in Revelation 12:12">REV 12:12, thumon. Thumon is a more aggressive anger; it has the connotation of being moved and controlled by the emotional sin of anger. This is the person who does things without thinking because he is angry. Thumon also means to be furious, infuriated, irate, wrathful, fierce, savage, turbulent, unrestrained, and violent. Both of these words refer to anger, which is used three ways in the Bible-(1) a mental attitude sin, (2) an anthropopathism related to divine judgment, and (3) legitimate anger against evil.
As a mental attitude sin, anger expresses antagonism, hatred, bitterness, resentment, and irrationality. It can be mental or emotional or both. The Bible distinguishes between mental and emotional anger-if your right lobe is dominating and you become angry, you will react in mental anger (orge), but if your reaction is from emotion, then it is emotional anger (thumos). Both are unjustifiable reactions. Satan's anger turned a genius into an idiot, as it can turn anyone into an idiot. A person is never smart when angry, which is why many stupid and embarrassing things are said in anger. When you are dealing with problems, you must have your senses about you, therefore, do not lose your temper. Anger is associated with grieving the Holy Spirit (EPH 4:30-31), it is a violation of the Royal Family honor code and hinders effective prayer (1TI 2:8), and it is the source of "chain sinning," (HEB 12:15).
1. PRO 6:34 teaches that jealousy produces anger in a person.
2. An angry, quick-tempered person acts foolishly, PRO 14:17.
3. A person who is slow to anger has great understanding, PRO 14:29.
4. Anger can be stirred up through the sins of the tongue, PRO 15:1.
5. An angry person stirs up strife and dissensions, PRO 15:18.
6. Anger is the reason people dig up or invent evil about others, PRO 16:27.
7. A person who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, PRO 16:32.
8. Wisdom overlooks the faults in others, PRO 19:11.
9. Anger brings on self-induced misery, PRO 19:19.
10. Anger causes misery to those in your periphery, PRO 21:9.
11. Those who ridicule and criticize are controlled by anger, PRO 22:10.
13. An angry person is said to be a whisperer and contentious, to have burning lips and a wicked heart, and to be filled with hate, flattery, deceit, and lies, and to have a flattering mouth, PRO 26:20-28.
14. Anger motivates jealousy and cruelty, PRO 27:4.
15. It is impossible to restrain an angry person, PRO 27:15-16.
16. Anger comes from losing one's temper for lack of wisdom, PRO 29:11.
17. Anger is never an isolated sin, PRO 29:22.
The expulsion of Satan from heaven means that he is confined now to planet earth and human history, and therefore he is very frustrated. Satan operates in frustrated arrogance from his own bad decisions. And like Satan, we often create our own frustration.
For a more detailed study, order tapes IA11-334 to IA11-337.