GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Rejection of Satan
Revelation 12:12 For this reason, be celebrating you heavens [elect angels and resurrected Church-age believers], and you, who live temporarily in them [Old Testament saints and Tribulational martyrs, who reside in heaven in the interim body]. Woe to both land and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having and holding onto great wrath [foaming with fury], knowing that his time is short.
Now that he has been evicted from heaven, Satan knows that he has only 3½ more years of freedom before he goes to jail for 1,000 years.
When we must face the fact that time is short, two kinds of people are revealed-those who have virtue, integrity, honor, and those who do not. Those who are without these qualities cannot control their lives and have no personal sense of destiny, i.e., Satan. It is very frustrating for a creature who knows that he is superior to all other creatures to realize that time and success are passing him by. He "foams with fury" in his great anger and rage, knowing that his time is short. There comes a realization in the life of all people, both good and bad, those with virtue and those without it, when they know that in some way their time is short.
Those who react to the pressure when their time is short, rather than respond, fall into a series of evils based on arrogance. It is based upon vanity, pride, vindictiveness, implacability, and hatred, and it always brings out the worst in them. There is always someone to blame. When a person relates who he is to who he was in the past, he does so for one of two reasons:
1. He is arrogant and thinks that he was more successful than he actually was.
2. He is filled with self-pity and is in a sulking mood, looking for self-justification because of his present situation (Operation "Blame Game").
King David gave us an example of how we should think under pressure; in PSA 27:1 he said, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?" and in 1SA 17:47,"The battle is the Lord's."
As we have seen in the past, Operation Blame Game means refusing to take the responsibility for one's own decisions as Adam and the woman did in the Garden, GEN 3:12-13. When we fail, we have two choices-we can continue to blame the world for our stress and our present situation, or we can take responsibility for own decisions and reactions and go forward in the plan of God. Going forward requires occupation with the person of Christ, keeping the proper focus, and not blaming others.
When David wrote PSA 103:3-12, this is what he was dealing with: "Who pardons all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit; who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. The Lord performs righteous deeds, and judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us; nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
In verse 3, He pardons all our iniquities and heals all our diseases, maybe not in our timing, but in His. In verse 4, He redeems our life from the pit that we have fallen into when we have failed. In verse 5, He "satisfies our years," all through the Christian life, with blessings; we must focus on the positive and on what the Lord provides, PHI 4:8. In verse 10, "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." God does not love us based upon conditions.
In verses 11-12, "As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who respect Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us." God is the ultimate One to whom you can turn when everyone else turns against you. The crushing experiences of failure can be brought to the Lord, and you will never hear Him shame you for coming. You can come at any time without ever interrupting Him, and say to Him, "Here I am again, with the same wounds," and you will hear Him say, "Here is My compassion, here is My love." He has a lovingkindness that never fails.
When we fail, it affects our security and our focus, and we begin to look to somebody else to blame. We need to accept the responsibility for our own failures and stop blaming others. Psa 103:13-14 continues, "Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust."
We need to count on the Lord's constant acceptance and understanding. You will never get that from people, but you will always get that from the Lord. People will look for achievement and then base their acceptance of you on the basis of that achievement; however, "The Lord knows our frame, He remembers that we are but dust." People look at the externals, but God sees motive, HEB 4:13.
We must learn to let God be God and stop wrapping "human skin" around Him. Then our days of discouragement will become fewer and fewer. Most of our discouragement comes in the problem of focus and security-we focus on people, we look for security from people, and when we do so, we will be seen as a "god" one day and a "murderer"the next, ACT 28:4-6.
When we have the proper focus, we will find true security, realizing that He sees us as "dust" and accepts us as we are. Verses 15-18 of Psa 103 brings out the principle of refraining from comparing ourselves with others: "As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more; and its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children."
We look at the neighbor who has never lost his job, we look at the Christian at church who has not been there as long as we have and yet is further advanced, and we make comparisons, and when we do so, we are unwise, 2CO 10:12. The problem is a matter of our perspective; given the right perspective, even a failure can look positive.
In JOH 2:23-25, "When He [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man."
Jesus saw man, not as what they were, but as what they were to become. On that basis He chose His twelve apostles, knowing there was not one perfect man in the bunch. In PSA 103:19-20, David wraps it up by describing the angels:"The Lord has established His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all. Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word!"
David is now addressing the angels, after addressing himself, and he says through the testimony of the angels,"Serve Him, do His will, obey Him, and stand firm-God knows what He is doing."
At the time, David had personally failed in a huge way, but he still did not quit (ACT 13:22). Your response to your failures is your personal responsibility; it is not the responsibility of your boss, your mate, your friend, your teacher, or your neighbor. Therefore, the first person you should talk to when it comes to your failures is yourself. You should then immediately go to God and bond the two together. If you blame others and do not take responsibility for your actions, you will never experience victory in the spiritual life.
Failure does not necessarily mean sin-it might be something as insignificant as just not reaching a daily goal, or as large as not experiencing your dreams. When you realize you are not going to achieve your goal, you must get a hold of your soul as David did, and tell yourself, "You have a choice of becoming bitter, moody, and unhappy, and blaming somebody else, or blaming yourself"; the choice is yours to say, "Lord, I'm counting your benefits."
This means being occupied with Christ, and that you will not fall when you fail, PSA 37:23-24. When you do fail, and you will, examining and dwelling on negative thoughts will be your downfall. Do not struggle with these thoughts, because they will draw you into a battle you have no hope of winning. When you keep your guilt within, you will blame others for your failures. We all fail, but we have not failed miserably until we begin to blame others for our failures.
The legalistic individual always blames others for his problems, with his mindset of self-righteousness and his lifestyle of self-justification. No one even grows up as a human being until he takes the responsibility for his own decisions, especially the negative ones. All blame is a waste of time because no matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another person feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.
Satan is going to blame the Jews for his failure to take over the world and establish his own utopia, and that is why we read in REV 12:13,15,17, "And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child&ldots; 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 thdragon 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."
Satan entered into Operation Blame Game. For the loser, there is always someone else to blame. When you have the right lifestyle, you have control of your life in living or in dying or in any situation, even when you know the time is short. When under pressure, a winner believer does not change his lifestyle. The real test of how you have lived your life, when the time is short, is to carry on just as you always have, rather than accelerate bad decisions. In the last 3½ years of the tribulation, we see the acceleration of Satan's bad decisions. He must crowd all the evil of his system into 3½ years, therefore, it is called the Great Tribulation. Whoever you are, when you come to a pressure period in your life, where the time is short, all your virtue or all your evil comes out. If you have personal control of your life, and a personal sense of destiny, you will smile in the face of great danger, JOB 5:22. Unfortunately for many individuals, no matter how short their time is, they always make time to blame everyone else for their stress. However, for the one who has made the right decisions and advanced to maturity, he carries on as usual. Satan has always hated the Jews, so before he loses rulership of the world, he will attack them. The first thing he does is to express his hatred, vindictiveness, and implacability. This is the third woe, beginning with the seventh trumpet inRevelation 12:13">REV 12:13, "And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child."
This is the beginning now of the eschatology of the devil's desperation. The Greek verb for "thrown" is ballo, and it means to be thrown violently or intensively, to be cast, "dunged," moved out, or forced out. He is now aware that the time is short; he cannot escape the reality of the plan of prophecy and he sees the prophecy being fulfilled in the historical trends. No creature knows the human race as well as Satan does, and all his hatred and cruelty will be poured out on the Jews.
Satan has been rejected and he hates rejection. Rejection can be a very serious problem if not handled correctly, because there is always a tendency to react. A common reaction to being hurt is withdrawal from the environment where the pain was inflicted; this withdrawal can be very detrimental to the individual, especially if he withdraws from the local assembly to which God has called him. Even our Lord had to handle rejection, although He was perfect; therefore, we should not be shocked to have to deal with it ourselves. Rejection is often a matter of people's perception of reality. They think that they are being rejected when in reality they are simply victims of their own insecurities! God had to warn Samuel about this in 1SA 8:4-7, "Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, 'Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.' But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, 'Give us a king to judge us.' And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, 'Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.'"
Rejection is one of the greatest pressures in life because very few people have the proper concept of reality, and many believers are not even mature as human beings, lacking confidence or thinking more highly of themselves then what they ought to. Very few believers present their body as a "living sacrifice," as commanded in ROM 12:1-6. Our worship is not just coming to the local assembly and sitting down, taking notes, and learning doctrine.
The arrogant believer is always defending his own perception of self and always making excuses for what he should or should not be doing. He thinks more highly of himself than what he ought to, and therefore he enters into self-deception, 1CO 10:12, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." When believers fall into a state of anxiety or feel challenged, they immediately rise to their own defense. They get defensive because they feel that there is some form of rejection being directed at them. In some cases, the perception of reality is so distorted that the believer who assumes that he is being rejected is actually the rejecter. He has brought about the circumstances in which he is actually the rejecter, but in defense of his position, he immediately assumes he has been rejected. It is always someone else's fault, but in reality, the Lord is the One who has allowed these things to take place (DEU 32:39). Many times these situations that cause believers to feel rejected come directly from the Lord for the purpose of rebound and recovery. People who get wounded easily and feel rejected are people who do not have a right relationship with the Lord. The issue is where they stand in their spiritual life. Your spiritual life is the only solution to the problem of rejection.
For a more detailed study, order tapes IA11-338 to IA11-341.