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Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 080413

Satan and his kingdom of darkness promotes worry as a mental attitude sin.

 

In Rev 9, Abaddon breaks out of this jail with the help of Satan who at that time has been cast out of heaven and can never return there again. Let me show you some of his fantastic power and the type of enemies we have to deal with when it comes to spiritual warfare.

First of all, Satan and his kingdom of darkness promotes worry as a mental attitude sin which is self-induced and therefore filled with soulish torment or anxiety regarding anything in life.

Notice I said it is self-induced.

That is why in REV 9:1, we read And the fifth angel [this is Seraph angel or a sixth winged angel] sounded [his trumpet], and I saw a star from heaven [the star is a reference to Satan who had fallen to the earth in the middle of the Tribulation period]which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit [that's the compartment known as the abyss, the lowest place on the earth] was given to him.

This is why we are told in PHI 4:6, Stop worrying about anything, but in every circumstance through prayer and through supplication for personal needs after thanksgivings let your requests or petitions be revealed to the God.

REV 9:2, And he [Satan] opened the abyss; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the atmosphere became darkened by the smoke of the pit.

This is why during the Tribulation period we are told that adversity is inevitable, but stress is optional. Now, just before God the Father throws Satan down to the earth in the middle of the Tribulation period, he gives Satan the key and the power and authority to release the first demon assault army. These demons actually have the power and the ability to be visible to man.

Other demons do not have this power or ability. These demons are going to be visible and they are going to look like men.

This is why we are told worry always anticipates the worst, and so becomes anticipation of danger, misfortune, trouble, or uncertainty. For the first time in human history since Gen 6, fallen angels will actually be available...and so Greek Mythology will have their so-called gods on earth again.

Satan is permitted to release his first demon assault army and they will torture their targets for five months. So intense and excruciating is the pain they inflict on believers in the cosmic system and unbelievers, that both believers and unbelievers are going to try to commit suicide but will not be permitted to do so.

Death will elude them! This is why we are told worry is a state of restlessness and agitation, producing mental disturbance, uneasiness, anxiety, and painful uncertainty. And so the opening is the entrance and the exit for the great underworld prison known as the abyss.

REV 9:2, And he [Satan] opened or unlocked the abyss; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air or the atmosphere became darkened by the smoke of the pit.

During this time worry will short circuit the function of the faith-rest technique and causes the believer to be pinned down in no man's land.

Now, in verse 3 we have the description of the demon army.

REV 9:3, And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

The Bible must be interpreted in the time that it was written and these were not scorpions nor were they locusts, these are analogous. The function of the locust on the one hand and the function of the scorpion on the other hand are the best ways in which in the ancient world it is possible to describe the function of the first demon assault army.

If you retreat, you do not go back to your previous stage of spiritual growt­h, you're out of fellowship, you're out of the PPOG, you go back to reversionism or no man's land.

Once you get out into no man's land, either you go forward and take the objective or you retreat into reversionism, as we have used the phrase in the past, you crash and burn. Worry then causes the believer to be pinned down in no man's land, and to be pinned down in no man’s land means to become a casualty for backsliding.

Pro 14:14, The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good man will {be satisfied} with his.

In JER 2:19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings [apostasies or faithlessness] shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

JER 3:12  Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

JER 3:14  Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

JER 3:22  Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

HOS 14:4  I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.

Back in REV 9:3, And out of the smoke came forth locusts

The word for locusts is akrides used for an army of destruction. So using a locust plague as an analogy for an overrunning army is used several times in the Bible and therefore it becomes the basis for helping us to understand the passage. the locust is always used as invading armies when used as an analogy. Locust invade the land and destroy crops therefore they are analogous here to the demon army which invades planet earth from the Abyss.

So, worry is a destroyer of the soul. If unchecked, it results in mental illness. You get a warning first, often with a physical problem. Worry in the mind causes shock to the body;

PRO 12:25  Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.

Worry is a satanic device to lead the believer into reversionism and the sin unto death, EZE 4:15-17. Worry is a great weapon in the hands of Satan because the forces of evil take over the soul as a result of worry. Worry makes you vulnerable to the enemies especially attack in no man's land.

More sacrifices of your time, talent, treasure, is given from the exercising of your spiritual gift in no man’s land; Therefore, there are more subtle attacks made against you to try and cause you to doubt the laying down of your life to serve and honor God. Bad news causes worry, JER 49:23ff.

Worry causes hysteria, LUK 10:41, But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;”

Everyone has an area in which they are prone to worry. People cause worry.  People are always worried about other people. Worriers have to have an object, 1SA 10:2.

Economic disaster is a cause of worry, JER 42:16.

Sin causes worry.  People worry about sin which causes guilt, PSA 38:18.  Worry is a sin, ROM 14:23b.

Therefore, we are ordered to stop worrying, LUK 12:29, “And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying.”

Worry distracts from doctrinal teaching, MAT 13:22; LUK 8:14. Therefore, blessing from God includes freedom from worry,JER 17:7-8. So these demons are incarcerated and they are in solitary confinement, but as soon as Satan opens that shaft they form up in ranks and get ready to attack.

Now, there's one difference between the literal locust and the demon locust army.

The literal locust is described in PRO 30:27, The locusts have no king, Yet all of them go out in ranks;

However, this locust army has a king over them and they still function in ranks and that king is a part of the first group of fallen angels that we are told are our true enemies. Real locusts are known for laying waste to countrysides all over the world. In the evening, they descend from their flight and they form an organized bivouac or a camp. In the morning, they assemble again and if they do not find a place to feed they fly in the direction of the wind. They travel in large number and they usually occupy a space of about 12 miles long by five miles wide, about 60 square miles of space is the normal space used for an invading locust army. When they travel they convert day into night.

Whenever the locust form up and go into the air, their wings make an awesome sound and they literally darken the sky around them. Nothing can stop the locust. They will fill ditches dug to stop them but can’t. They will fill them with their bodies. They will smother fires which are lit to burn them. They pass through the walls, under doors and windows. In other words, they provide an excellent analogy for this invading demon army. Nothing is going to stop this demon army at the time of this invasion. For the first time in history, beginning in the middle of the Tribulation, demons are permitted to attack men. They are permitted to torture and later on to kill, as we will see.

In REV 9:3, And out of the smoke came forth locusts [the demon army from the Abyss] upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Scorpions is the noun skorpioi which belongs to the spider family and is usually 5 or 6 inches long and has a poisonous sting in its tail. Some people die from the venom that is released from the scorpion and very often they are in extreme pain from the sting. The sting is followed by a very sharp pain and then local swelling and numbness. And many times the victim experiences sharp pain, numbness, Speech becomes very difficult. Saliva is discharged.

The victim becomes restless and breathing becomes difficult and that's just the beginning.

The point being that the scorpion sting is a very painful thing and it is used in the analogy to torture here. Now, believe or not, this is all a manifestation of the grace of God. This is warning before judgment! Grace precedes judgment! You have to understand that this is God’s last appeal to the believer to get out of the cosmic system and to the unbeliever to become born again and saved. There is never a judgment which destroys a segment of the human race until first of all that segment of the human race has an opportunity to repent.

For the unbeliever, repentance means salvation. For the believer, repentance means a change of mind toward doctrine. We have illustrations such as Noah and the flood. Noah preached for 120 years before the flood came. Over a period of 120 years Noah taught gospel information....it was grace before judgment. As an evangelist, Noah was excellent. As an evangelist, he was eloquent. However, the negative volition was almost universal and the human race was reduced to just a few people.

The point is that God is going to use the wrath of angels to praise Him just like He uses the wrath of man to praise Him.

PSA 76:10, For the wrath of man shall praise Thee”

Now, in verses 4 and 5 we do have a divine restriction placed upon the demon invasion.

They are going to be restricted as to what they can do to their target which is going to be made up of people who live in the cosmic system, believers and unbelievers of the Tribulation. The first demon army is restricted, the second is not!

REV 9:4, And they were told or commanded that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

This first demon army is going to have restraint and it's going to torture people so badly that they will try to commit suicide. But there’s an alternative to trying to commit suicide and that is to accept Christ as your personal Savior.....or in the case of believers to rebound and get out of the cosmic system. And five months of torture ought to be enough motivation for anyone.

And we are going to see some very strange things about how pain can serve as a motivation but also in some cases pain make a person a lot worse. Pain and suffering and adversity it either makes us worse or better but it never leaves us the same.

When you have a problem, a difficulty, a disaster, you are never going to be the same, you are going to come out of it worse or better...but you will never be the same person you were before.

You make look the same but you’re not. And the wonderful thing about disaster and adversity and pain and difficulty and problems is that it gives us a fantastic opportunity for improvement. Some believers under disaster are motivated to improve, they rebound and get cracking again.

Others turn very bitter and very sour and eventually they get locked into the evil and the arrogance of the cosmic system.

In fact, when the Bible says in HEB 9:27, It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” I believe, and this is a personal opinion even though I believe I can back it up with Scripture, that thousands of years after members of the human race are suffering in the lake of fire that if they were offered to believe on TLJC and trust in Him as their Lord Savior, I believe they would still reject Him. And there’s some reasons for that: One is the fact that the more some people suffer, the morebitter and arrogant and hateful and resentful they become. Secondly, look at Satan and the fallen angels, they still rebel against God even after they were given a second trial. Thirdly, when Satan is put in prison for a thousand years the first thing he does when he gets out of prison is start a human revolt against God.

 

Then the Bible teaches that the sin nature gets more and more corrupt as it gets older in EPH 4:22, and all of those in the lake of fire have their old sin nature. Also look at REV 22:11-15, “Let the one who does wrong, still the word still means further do wrong; and let the one who is filthy, still or further be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and let the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to 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 [rebound], that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”

The word loves is in the present tense meaning that they still do love and practice lying. So back in REV 9:4, what we have here is the motivation concept.

REV 9:4, And they were told or commanded that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

This first demon army is prohibited from destroying vegetation. Apparently the demon army can be destructive not only with people but with things. And why would they want to destroy the grass or vegetation or the trees?

This is why, COL 1:16, For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him.

They hate Him! They despise Him! And everything around reminds them of Him!

Satan’s servants hate anything that reminds them of Him, TLJC.

REV 9:4, And they were commanded that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree,

So there are two mandates on this demon army, first, they can’t destroy vegetation. In addition to that they are not permitted to kill their targets, torture only. The reason why they are given these restrictions is because an angel or a demon can kill a human being very easily!

While demons can perform extra-natural and super-natural acts in the environment of planet earth, they cannot control anything in planet apart from divine permission. Divine permission is only given where it involves the perpetuation of the angelic conflict in human history. Remember the principle 1JO 4:4, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

REV 9:4, And they were commanded that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only or it should be translated except

There are certain people that can be attacked. You can’t attack the grass of the earth or any green thing or any tree but you can attack certain individuals.

The environmentalists would love this verse.

REV 9:4, And they were commanded that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, except the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

 

They can attack humans but there's a certain group they can’t attack. Those who have the seal of God are those who became saved after the Rapture and during this Tribulation period. In fact, who are they who have the seal of God?

Is it every believer alive?

No!

Only a certain group of believers have the seal of God.

Who?

 

REV 7:1-4, After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:”

 

The ones that are sealed are not called believers but those believers who are bond-servants of God. The word bond-servants is doulos which means those believers who are slaves or servants to God. It speaks of those believers who carry out the will and the purpose of God. There are certain Tribulation believers who will survive the Tribulation with all of its horrors and historical adversity.

 

These certain Tribulational believers are fulfilling certain principles of spiritual advance that keep that keep them out of the cosmic system. Remember again, the target is believers and unbelievers in the cosmic system but there is no permission to attack believers. For example, today you cannot be attacked if your inside the PPOG for your life. Inside the PPOG there is a wall of fire.....inside the cosmic system there is no wall of fire for the believer.

 

Whatever the plan of God is for the Tribulational saints, their objective is growing in grace and staying out of the cosmic system...because demons are going to be permitted to do things in the Tribulation that they have never been permitted to do before in all of human history. Therefore to avoid being mugged by a demon, you have to stay out of the cosmic system in the Tribulation.

So there will be thousands of believers who will not be attacked and who will be protected under the principle of the wall of fire.

 

However, many believers are going to be tortured and later on killed by demons simply because they live in the cosmic system.

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