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First let me point out that the sealing of the 144,000 happens immediately upon the heals of the Rapture of the Body of Christ. THESE go throughout the whole world RESUMING the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and continue on with the fulfillment of the so-called Great Commission of Matthew 28 . As well, the sign gifts will most likely also be present and back in full swing during this period, since they have been in abeyance during the Dispensation of the Mystery, the Dispensation of Grace, which comes to a close with the Rapture of the Body of Christ.
The War in Heaven of Revelation 12 : When will it take place
Revelation 13:1 , "And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and upon his horns ten diadems, and upon his heads blasphemous names."
Ok, now, THIS, (in Revelation 13:1 ), is the Beast in his superhuman form. What you have to understand is that he has ALREADY been on the Earth for an absolute minimum of 3 1/2 years, in his mortal stage, however we believe quite a bit longer. He then receives his death-wound (which I mentioned below), in Revelation 13:3 (as the seventh head), which I believe will coincide with the resurrection and ascension of the Two Witnesses, and POSSIBLY a second Rapture which is reflected by the Great Multitude of Revelation 7:9 . (...now, purely speculating, it would seem to me that the enemies of the Antichrist use this opportunity of the resurrection and ascension of the Two Witnesses and the possible Rapture of the Great Multitude to assassinate him).
It is at THIS POINT, the point of the assassination, that the War in Heaven takes place. Satan is ONCE and for all thrown out of the Heavens and is confined to the earth and the sea. Immediately satan goes after the Woman, ISRAEL, which brought forth the Man-Child, our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. Then, after the failure of Satan's attempt to destroy Israel, John sees him standing on the sand, or shore of the sea, as though pondering over, weighing, and forming his future plans. And while Satan is occupied doing this, John sees the outcome, in the Beast which rises (as though at Satan's call) out of the sea.
In Revelation 9:1 , we see Satan being cast out (as witnessed by the LORD Jesus Christ in Luke 10:18 , "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven". Keep in mind that God is OUTSIDE of time), AND, has been GIVEN (by God, because this is all His purpose) the Key to the Abyss. Satan opens the Abyss and releases out of the Abyss the eighth king, comprising all the seven heads and the ten horns. These are, in their now superhuman form, crowned. Whereas, in their mortal form they were not crowned. (Revelation 17:12 ). Certainly what we have here is something far beyond Rome, papal or pagan; and something far beyond the "fourth Beast," whether you are inclined to believe that fourth beast was the Roman Empire or view it as the Ottoman Empire.
We have here all the world powers, and all dominion in the earth, gathered up and concentrated in this one sign. We see them in their superhuman form, here in the Book of Revelation, however, we see them in their human or mortal form in Daniel. WHAT WE HAVE HERE is the WHOLE Image of Daniel 2 in its superhuman form, rather than one of its mortal parts. IT IS THE IMAGE REVIVED AS A WHOLE, (and not simply Rome or the Ottomans). It reaches to "wheresoever the children of men dwell" (Daniel 2:38 ); it affects "all that dwell upon the earth" (Revelation 13:8 ; Revelation 11:10 ; Revelation 14:6 ). When the time for these final judgments arrives the great Stone falls. It smites the image upon the feet, which may seem odd, it is true (Daniel 2:34 ); but it is immediately added, "Then was the IRON, the CLAY, the BRASS, AND the GOLD BROKEN TO PIECES TOGETHER" (Daniel 2:35 ).
What we have here is the embodiment and personification of the full sovereignty of the world under Satanic power, for "the whole world lieth in (the power of) the wicked one."
OK, now, when I say personification, we must recognize the spirit being from the Abyss (Revelation 17:88 ), that is, the superhuman agent, through whom he works. As Satan delegates this special mission to the Beast (a superhuman-being from the Abyss), so does the Beast act THROUGH a human being by possession, or in some other way. Therefore, what the Holy Spirit of God, here in Revelation, is doing, takes us behind the scenes and shows us the Satanic machinery by which the whole thing is operated.
So, while the people on earth see only a man, "The Man", their long awaited SUPERMAN, they may know nothing of the power of the Abyss behind him, and out of which he comes.
Now what might shock you is that this is exactly what is foretold by our LORD, in the parable of the strong man (Matthew 12:43-45 ), when He tells how the unclean spirit returns to his house whence he came out, and "taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse then the first. EVEN SO SHALL IT BE ALSO UNTO THIS WICKED GENERATION."
This shows that the LORD is speaking a parable with regard to the Nation of Israel; and it shows us that there will be possession by evil spirits acting through human agency; not only with regard to Israel, but with regard to the whole world. Doubtless, the human agent Antichrist will have already been alive some time on earth, working up to this point, when Satan takes him in hand uses him henceforth for his own purposes; by rapid strides raising him to the pinnacle of earthly pride and power.
Always keep this in mind, the moment will come when a human being will be found who is willing to accept that which the LORD Jesus rejected in Luke 4:6-7 , when the devil, having shown Him "all the kingdoms of the world," said unto Him, "All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will, I give it. If, therefore, thou wilt worship me, all shall be thine." The LORD refused it, but he did NOT deny the truth of the words, or dispute Satan's authority or power. What the LORD DOES do is He says, "Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the LORD THY God, and him ONLY shalt thou serve." The whole question is one of worship, and it will never be settled until at last Satan finds one to worship him. In return, Satan will get for him, and give to him, the worship of the world.
In Revelation 13:3 , it does not say WHICH of the seven heads is slain; or when; but the Beast is repeatedly spoken of as "he whose stroke of death was healed." It is this last or seventh head, this man himself who is killed and restored to life, as the SUPERMAN. The whole world wonders at him and follows after him, on account of this great satanic miracle worked on his behalf. This is the hour spoken of in Revelation 3:10 , "which is to come upon the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." "Satan's throne" will then be set up in the earth (Revelation 2:13 ; Revelation 16:10 ), and a man, "the lawless one", "the Antichrist", will occupy it, and take the sovereignty of the world, obsessed, possessed, and energized by satanic power.
Now you can also take a look at Revelation 13:4 . Because here, it is clear, that everything is combined in this SUPERman to make him not only acceptable to the world, but to call forth their wonder, admiration and praise. He is not in any way a terror to men, but full of blandishments, attractions, allurements, and activities which will be all put forth in the interests of human greatness and happiness. It will be Satan's brief millennium, in which mankind will, by every art and artifice, be made happy.
It will be a time of peace and progress for the whole world. Great secrets of nature will be discovered; evil angels will be the teachers, and deceiving demons the guides of mankind. Great inventions and discoveries will be made, and turned to the utmost possible account. Philanthropy will be the governing principle of the world and of the "Church".
Now, today, look around, and see that this great ETHICAL revival is at our doors. Its advent is announced by the foremost preachers of today. All of this is preparing the way for the man of sin, and the lawless one, who shall be a law unto himself and unto the whole world. Men will delight in him, and regard him as the greatest benefactor the world has ever known. Kings will gladly owe him suzerainty; and behind all of it will be Satan himself, swaying the hearts, tongues and energies of thousands of willing agents.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
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Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )