GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for week ending 04/27/03.
GRACE BIBLE CHURCHRobert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
Satan's Rebellion and Angelic Salvation
Revelation 12:3 And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great [megas] red [purrhos] dragon [drakon]having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems [diademata].
"Purrhos" describes the fires of affliction and denotes the cruelty of the devil, whereas "megas" describes the great power of the devil as the god of this world. "On his heads were seven diadems [crowns]"; the word "stephanos" is very often translated "crowns," but here we have "diademata," the crowns of rulers as opposed to crowns of decorations.
The great Old Testament prophet Daniel said in Dan 7:2, "I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea [a sea of people]." The "four winds," which control the weather are used to indicate that Jesus Christ controls history, including the rise and fall of empires, and this principle is in view in
REV 17:12-15, "'And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose and they give their power and authority to the beast. These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful. And he said to me, "The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.'"
DAN 7:3-7 "And four great beasts [evil powers] were coming up from the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion [the Chaldean Empire, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq] and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear [the Persian Empire, from India to Egypt, western Asia, the Arabian desert, and the Persian gulf]. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!' After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard [the Macedonian Empire, in Europe], which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast [the Roman Empire], dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
This fourth beast is Rome, a world power between 264 and 146 B.C. In 146 B.C. the Romans took over Corinth and destroyed the greatest art treasures of the ancient world. They were very vicious, and they conquered anyone who got in their way. However, their cruelty was harnessed in great self-discipline, so that it simply aroused fear in their enemies, which made their conquests easy.
DAN 7:8 "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts."
In the Tribulation there will be a revived Roman Empire, and the ten horns represent ten nations. Ten nations out of the Old Roman Empire will come together to form a new Roman Empire. England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Libya, Egypt, all of North Africa, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Austria, Yugoslavia, the Balkans, and Greece were all a part of the Roman Empire. We do know that the USA is not a part of this empire. The revived Roman Empire of the tribulation is generally called the king of the West, which could mean western European nations. We do not know exactly which nations the ten horns are. We do know that there will be a majority of nations opposing one nation, Israel. PSA 46:6-9 says, "The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. ["Lord of hosts" is one of the titles of our Lord Jesus Christ, representing freedom through military victory.] Come, behold the works of the Lord [the wonderful way God has preserved believers in military service, especially in combat], who has wrought desolations in the earth [Jesus Christ controls history and works on behalf of client nations who are facing a military crisis]. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire."
The client nation is a divinely protected national entity in which spiritually mature believers form a pivot sufficient to fulfill the divine mandates of evangelism, custodianship and communication of Bible doctrine, providing a haven for the Jews, and sending missionaries abroad.
In spite of all the chaos, havoc, confusion, destruction, and evil in the world, Jesus Christ controls history. Evil nations have always existed and always will exist throughout human history. These nations hate peace; they use terror and military force, expressions of their power lust, to conquer other nations. They are described for us briefly in PSA 55:20-21, "He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; he has violated his covenant. His speech was smoother than butter, but his heart was war; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords." Evil nations attack those who are at peace with them and threaten them with terrorism. They habitually violate their treaties with other nations. The Muslim bible, the Koran, states: "Fight and slay the pagans (infidels) wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war (Surah 9:5)." The Koran also condones violence, racism, and deception in verses such as Surah 9:73, Surah 5:51-74, and Surah 9:3,13.
PSA 140:1-2 is a prayer for protection from evil nations: "Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who devise evil things in their hearts; they continually stir up wars."
The Bible reveals three principles of protection against such nations: (1) Jesus Christ controlling history, (2) the pivot of mature believers, and (3) a strong military establishment professionally prepared to defend national freedom. Our response to the threats of an evil nation is found in PSA 55:22, "Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken"; and 1PE 5:7, "Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you."
These promises and commands to use the faith-rest drill are directed toward the client nation to God and individual believers involved in military action. In the faith-rest drill the spiritual believer combines the promises of God with faith to generate tranquility of soul in the midst of adversity. The divine response to the use of the faith-rest drill is given in PSA 55:23, "But Thou, O God, wilt bring them down to the pit of destruction; men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in Thee." Jesus Christ controls history through the use of client nations in the destruction of evil nations in warfare.
The dilemma of a peaceful nation is described in two verses in PSA 120:6-7, "Too long has my soul had its dwelling with those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war." "Those who hate peace" is a definitive description of the perpetrators of many disasters in the last century. The USA was in a state of isolationism, desiring peace, between World War I and World War II. That changed when we were attacked on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. We were for peace, but others wanted war. We were drawn into World War II, and we were victorious. Since that time we have fought in a number of military actions with superior troops and weaponry, yet in some cases we lost these conflicts because politicians intervened with policies which made it impossible to win. The no-win war policy is a great tragedy in a nation that loves peace. We must win wars in order to preserve peace-as this is the only modus operandi that is understood in the devil's world. The Lord Jesus Christ warned us of "wars and rumors of wars" until His Second Advent in MAT 24:6.
Our main passage continues in REV 12:3-4, "And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail [Satan's power] swept away a third of the stars of heaven [the prehistoric revolution in heaven, in which one third of the angels followed Satan in the prehistoric angelic conflict], and He [God] threw them to the earth [in the middle of the Tribulation]. And the dragon stood or before the woman [the virgin Mary] who was about to give birth [Satan desperately wanted to prevent the virgin birth of Christ], so that when she gave birth he might devour or destroy her child [the humanity of Jesus Christ]."
A question many people ask concerning this passage is, "Did all the angels have a fall and rebel against God, or just one third of them?" "Did one third of the angles fall or did they all fall and two thirds come back to Christ?" We can see the results of the prehistoric angelic past in the restoration of planet earth, the creation of mankind, and the continuing angelic conflict. When we see the results we know that there was a cause. We know that at the creation of mankind Satan had already fallen, Isa 14, Eze 28. There are two categories of angelic creation: elect angels and fallen angels. Paul writes to Timothy in 1TI 5:21, "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality." What were these angels chosen to? Even though the information we have on the prehistoric past is vague, there are certain passages that give us insight into what may have transpired in eternity past. The elect angels are called "holy angels," REV 14:10, LUK 9:26, because God made them holy by providing a non-meritorious way to receive His righteousness.
REV 15:4 "Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; for all the nations will come and worship before Thee, for Thy righteous acts have been revealed."
REV 16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous art Thou, who art and who wast, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things."
If Jesus Christ is called the only Holy One, which can only refer to the fact that He is the only one who remains experientially holy, and the elect angels are called holy, how can this be, unless they were made holy after they were found unholy? In REV 7:10-12, resurrected believers praise the Lord for salvation, and the angels join in by twice saying "Amen," in which they concur, agree, and express that they believe it. Believe what? Salvation. They say "Amen" to salvation because they personally understand it, REV 7:10-12, "And they cry out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, 'Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.'"
In the Tribulation, while angels bring divine judgment upon the earth, no angel is allowed to execute this judgment apart from Jesus Christ because He alone is worthy, REV 5:2-5, "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?' And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look into it. And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, 'Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.'"
In JOB 4:17-18 we find the statement that God charges error against His angels, and this is used to argue that no man can be just before God: "Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? He puts no trust even in His servants; and against His angels He charges error." It is also interesting that at the fall, Satan offered man a counterfeit salvation prior to God offering man a true salvation. True salvation looked ahead to Jesus Christ in GEN 3:21, "And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them." Satan's counterfeit was fig leaves, seen earlier in GEN 3:7, "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings." A counterfeit requires prior understanding of the real; therefore, Satan had to have some prior knowledge of salvation in order to offer a counterfeit plan for covering sinfulness and disobedience.
The key word in these passages is the word "holy," translated from "hosios," which is used eight times in the Scriptures for the Lord Jesus Christ, and along with the word "monos," translated "only," presents the absolute uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hosios is used for His person in ACT 2:27; ACT 13:35, for the guarantor of blessings for the believer in ACT 13:34, and for His qualification as High Priest in HEB 7:26. Jesus Christ is seen as the Unique Holy One, the only One to remain perfect. Hosios is the prerequisite for prayer, 1TI 2:8, should become the believer's testimony, 1TH 2:10, is the believer's goal, LUK 1:75, and is a characteristic of the "new man," EPH 4:24. No one is perfect except Jesus Christ, PSA 89:5-8.
In COL 1:19-20 Jesus Christ is said to reconcile all things to Himself: "For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven." Reconciliation is the making of peace between those who are enemies. In these verses the Lord is said to do this both on earth and in heaven. The condemnation against Satan in Isa 14 and Eze 28 is specifically against him alone. However, after his sin and fall, God allowed him to tempt all other angels to follow him. God did not interfere with this evil scheme because in His omniscience He knew they would buy the lie, yet He had something better for them-salvation. Let us suppose that all the angels fell and at that moment, God stepped in with judgment. He would have judged Satan first since he was the instigator of the angelic rebellion.
JOH 16:11 says, "The ruler of this world has been judged." Upon being judged and found guilty and condemned, Satan objected and accused God of being unjust, violating His essence, love, fairness, veracity, etc. As Satan stood condemned, all the angels stood condemned, but condemnation only precedes the divine provision of reconciliation. God offered the angels a way for their sin to be forgiven, in which His divine attributes would in no way be compromised. We have one brief reference to angelic salvation in HEB 2:2-4, "For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will." For all this verse does not tell us, one thing it does tell us is that there is a parallel being drawn between angelic salvation and human salvation, our "so great" salvation.
For a more detailed study, order tapes IA11-260 to IA11-261.