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Jack Graham - The War to End All Wars

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    Jack Graham - The War to End All Wars
TOPICS: All Things New, Book of Revelation, End times, Armageddon, Apocalypse

The war to end all wars is really a behind the scenes, invisible, unseen war. My latest book is called Unseen, and the book is about this spiritual and supernatural war that has existed from eternity past and to this very day we are still fighting this war. It's raging in history and even beyond history. The unseen world and the unseen war is everywhere. It's personal in that you are involved. You are engaged. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God has not called us to playground but to a battle ground and we are to be good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ, advancing the kingdom of God. But you will be engaged, and you must not be a victim, but rather live in the victory that is yours in Jesus Christ.

This spiritual battle, this world, war of the worlds, if you will, there are supernatural forces at work. It is a cosmic conflict between God and Satan, angels and demons, heaven and hell. And the consequences are the souls of men, and, of course, there are many casualties. In the future there will be a war, a battle to end all wars and battles; it's called the Battle of Armageddon. And at that battle Jesus will come in great glory at the Revelation, at the revealing, the return of Christ, and with the word of His mouth. We're going to study about this in the book of Revelation. When He speaks all wars are ended and Satan and his powers are destroyed and casted into the pit, and ultimately into hell. It's all about the war. War is all around us. And we're waiting for that day that is promised in the Bible when there will be no more wars and no more suffering, no more pain and no more crying.

When evil is eradicated and Satan no longer is unleashed upon the earth. This unseen war, it goes on and on and on. And chapter 12 of Revelation is really a behind the scenes, a rare behind the scenes look at what's going on beyond us. The war and the major players in this war that are engaged in this great battle for the future of God's purposes and plans on earth. And that's what we're going to talk about today. I'm going to introduce you to three major generals, if you will, or characters that are in this war room. And the first one I'm going to call the wondrous woman; not Wonder Woman, though she is a wonder, but the wondrous woman. Look at verse 1, "And a great sign appeared in heaven".

Now you want to note immediately that word sign. When you read the book of Revelation or any scripture you should take it literally. In other words-Here's a little lesson in studying the Bible. When the Bible speaks concerning literal things and physical things as it does for, you know, through and through. The Bible is literally true, all of its facts, all of its figures, all of its history is accurate and inerrant. And when it speaks it's literal, but there are times when God identifies signs or symbols that represent something else. And the way you know the difference is to take scripture always at its face value when it speaks regarding physical, material, physical literal things, and then when it speaks of spiritual things, the sign or the markings are there of a symbol. And so we have a great sign. The word here is mega. It's a mega sign.

John is going to use that word mega several times in this passage, which means very great. A very great mega sign appeared in heaven: "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth". Who is this wondrous woman? Some have suggested, well, it's Mary the mother of Jesus. But clearly this is not Mary the mother of Jesus as we will see in just a moment. Some have suggested this is representative of the church, but the church who is described as the bride of Christ is not the mother of Christ. In fact, Jesus gave birth to the church; the church did not give birth to Jesus. And so in my mind it is absolutely clear there's really only one obvious choice to identify this woman.

This woman is Israel who gives birth to the Child who is the Messiah of Israel. The picture here pictures the dream that God gave Joseph in Genesis 39 or 37, rather, verse 9. And when you see this reference to the sun, the moon, the stars, that's a clear reference to the family of faith, Israel in the Bible. The nation which was born which has been promised by God, protected by God, preserved by our Lord throughout generations. Israel is at dead-center of the future of the world. Prophecy is prewritten history! One of those prophecies regarding Israel shows up at the end of the Old Testament. Zechariah chapter 12, and verse 3 when we are told that Israel will become a burden to all the nations. There it is! "On that day (in the Last Days) I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it".

That will happen. In fact, it's beginning to happen in our own generation as more and more resistance and opposition comes against God's people in Israel. The road to Armageddon runs through Israel, and Jerusalem in particular. One of the questions of great interest that many of us have in the United States have regarding Israel and regarding the Bible and the future of the world is where is America in biblical prophecy? Where is the United States in the book of Revelation? No evidence. By all appearances America is absent. Why? Why is America not in biblical prophecy? More about that in episodes to come.

I'm going to tell you why in a future message in Revelation why America is not engaged. But first we see the next major player in this war of the worlds, this war to end all wars at verse 3, back in Revelation chapter 12: "And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a mega great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. And his tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days".

What on earth! A wondrous woman and now a red reptile! A murderous, thunderous dragon with horns and crowns. What does it mean? Obviously a symbol. We don't have to wonder who this is because we're told later in the Scripture that this dragon is the ancient serpent (verse 9) called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. The red reptile. Obviously he's not literally a red dragon, even though you've seen caricatures of the devil with horns and pitchfork, a red suit, on a can of potted ham. Do they still make that stuff, by the way? I hope not. Now if you're involved in the production of potted ham, God bless you. Take some Lipitor and just go forward. But that's not the devil, the red is a symbol of blood, of course, of his murders and mayhem; his power and authority seen in his horns. He's crowned. Satan is a deceiver, a liar. We're told this in verse 9. That he is the deceiver of the whole world. He's a liar and a murderer.

Jesus said this in John chapter 8, and verse 44. In describing Satan, He said, "He is a murderer and a liar from the beginning". Here we see him as liar and murderer and ruler with horns and power, authority to rule the nations. And an accuser of the brethren or of the brothers. Deceiver, seducer, tempter, accuser, liar, all of this and so much more. He rules as the god of this age, and he commands the principalities and the power of angel spirits. When we're told here that when he fell, we read it earlier, one third of the stars of the heavenly hosts. That's not literal stars; that's the heavenly hosts. Here's what happened. Sometimes we wonder why did God make the devil? Well God didn't create the devil. He did create a heavenly being, and you can read about this in Isaiah 14, also in Ezekiel chapter 28. He created a heavenly being. His name was Lucifer.

Lucifer was a glorious angel. He apparently was near to the throne of God, akin to Michael the great Archangel of God who's remained faithful. But Lucifer was the son of the morning, beautiful and glorious creation of God. Ezekiel 28 indicates that he may have been the worship leader of heaven. I've always believed that this is why Satan hates so much the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ. It reminds him of what he was and what he could have been, leading the worship of our great God. In Isaiah 14 we're told that he said, this Lucifer, this created being of God, "I will exalt myself above the throne of God! I will be as God"! And before there was rebellion on earth, there was revolt in heaven, and Satan was casted out of heaven. Lucifer the son of the morning became the devil, the father of the night. And that's this mysterious war therefore, that's going on behind the scenes all around us. The devil is real.

You say, "Pastor, you believe in the devil"? Are you kidding me? The devil is real. And the devil is not down in hell, you know, making people bend over and shovel coal or having a poker party with all of his buddies. In fact, I don't believe the devil's yet been to hell! He's going to hell. He will be put in the pit and ultimately be sent forever to punishment with all those who have rejected our God. But the devil is not in hell; the devil is, 1 Peter 5:8, "like a roaring lion", the Bible says, "seeking whom he may devour" on the earth! And so when he slithered in, the snake, the red reptile slithered into the Garden of Eden the war that was in heaven is now on earth. And man sinned and the rebellions began in the hearts of mankind, and thus all the murders and mayhem and betrayals and wars and crimes and disease and all the rest of a part of this eternal supernatural battle.

Sometimes we wonder where did that come from? That hurt, that pain, that suffering, that temptation, where does that come from? You're in the crosshairs of a spiritual battle. That's why we as believers must put on the full armor of God and stand against the works of the wicked one, the devil himself. The good news is... there's just so much in this passage that I have to take you quickly to verse 11 regarding this red reptile and because the war is out there and the war is yet to come, in the Tribulation Satan is going to be unleashed even more. Remember, the church is gone, the Holy Spirit is absent as we have known Him, and therefore, it appears that Satan is winning. He's having his heyday, his hell on earth during the Tribulation.

That's all going to happen! Israel will be persecuted more. Israel, the woman will be driven out into the wilderness, yet protected by God during the second half of the Tribulation. More on that to come. But for here and now, those of us who are in this battle, how are we to engage the enemy? How are we to win this war on a personal level? Remember, I said this war is prophetic but it's also personal, and involves you and me. You're either a victor or you're a victim. But verse 11 of Revelation 12 is one of the great verses that you should claim when you face tests or lies or deceptions; difficulties or dangers in your life! They overcame him "by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony! And they loved not their lives, even unto death".

There's your battle strategy, Christian. We are the champions! The overcomers! And the way we win in life against the onslaught, the accusations and the attacks of the enemy, he is the accuser and the attacker. He attacks you, he accuses you. And so the way you respond is not with physical weaponry but with spiritual weapons. And here are your weapons: the blood of the Lamb, the cross, the cross! Go to the cross! Because at the cross Satan is defeated! There is power in the blood of Jesus! Saving power, sustaining power, securing power, sanctifying power! The power of the blood to purify us in the presence of great spiritual attacks! We run to the cross, because there at the cross we find our strength and our help in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And we face off against the enemy, knowing when he accuses us that we just simply say, "I have been saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am no longer yours, Satan. I am covered, I am cleansed by the blood of Christ". Some of us need to get over the idea, understand the difference, really between condemnation and conviction, the difference between Holy Spirit conviction and satanic condemnation. There are times the Holy Spirit convicts us and we are guilty of our sin. And God uses a guilty conscience to convict us! God's Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and He nails it. And says, it's not a general thing. You know what it is. The Holy Spirit prompts you to know it. You see it, you get it! And there's guilt as a result. And what do you do? You run to the cross. You don't give place to the devil. You don't stay in your sin.

Paul said in Ephesians 4:27 "Don't give place to the devil"! Don't give the devil operating room! Don't give the devil a place to get into your life! How would the devil get in your life as a Christian? If you don't confess your sins, if you don't run to the cross and continually keep your heart and your life transparent and open before the Lord, then that's giving the devil a way in. So what we do when the temptation comes or the struggle is on, is we go to the cross and rather than feeling the judgment of condemnation that comes from Satan, there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ! We find, not condemnation at the cross but we find grace for our guilt at the cross, and we are forgiven! We win! And not only that but when we engage the enemy we also not only come to the cross, but there's the confession, the testimony of our faith. He said they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.

What testimony? The testimony that I've just been talking about; the testimony of God's grace, of God's salvation; the testimony of Jesus. Have you ever given the devil your testimony? You should! The devil accuses you; says, "Look at you, you're not a Christian. You wouldn't have said that; you wouldn't have thought that; you wouldn't have done that if you were truly a Christian. You can't be a Christian". Weird, isn't it, how he devil gets us to do something and then blames us for doing it! But what we do, we just say, "No, Satan, you are a liar, you are a deceiver, and I don't believe your lies". I like telling the devil when he brings up my past, I just remind him of his future.

And let me tell you, here's the bottom line, here's the net-net on all of this: The devil is going down! Every time you see him in the Revelation he's going down, down, down! Down from the heavens, down to the earth, down to the pit, down into hell! Down, down, down, down, (dooby-doo-da) down! He's down! And you don't want to go with him! You don't want to go with him! So you confess your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you claim your victory in Christ. We sing it around here: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus-call on the name of Jesus and demons have to flee! That's our victory! That's the testimony of our faith! That's who we are in Christ! And then "we loved not our lives unto death". That's commitment. You know the devil really can't do anything to us. We're like the Apostle Paul, "to live is Christ, to die is gain". Heads-I win, tails-I win.

How can you defeat a person like that? It's when we allow Satan to put fears in our hearts and our minds rather than living in the courage and the conviction that is ours in Christ Jesus that we lose. But in Jesus we have the confidence that whatever it means, the psalmist said, Psalms 63:3, "Your loving kindness, O Lord, is better than life". The loving mercy and kindness of our God is better than life itself! So go ahead and kill us. You only put us in the presence of Jesus forever! And as Christians are suffering, you know persecution in the earth today, South Asia experiences it at a heavy level, the hot points, the pressure points, Christians are dying. I'm so grateful for the courage of men and women. Pray for those who are suffering for the cause of Christ.

We keep reminding you of this, to pray for the persecuted church, for believers who are suffering in the name of Jesus, and may God give us in America, we face a little bit of opposition and a little bit of resistance in the culture. God give us the courage to be bold in our convictions and to stand committed against all the attacks of the enemy. All of the lies, all the deceptions, all the phony stuff, all the fraud that's out there. That we are committed, because we don't love our lives to death. We've given our lives to Jesus.

Now, you can't be neutral in this battle. Jesus said you're either for Me or against Me. And this battle, this war that's raging all around one day will end and Satan will be defeated and put in the pit and into hell ultimately for ever and ever. But he wants to take as many people with him as possible. That's the whole thing: to disrupt God's plan and destroy God's people. That's why, Satan hates everything God loves. Satan hates everything God loves. And therefore, Satan hates people and destroys them with false religion or darkness or disease or death and mayhem of all, Satan hates what God loves! So turn from your sin and repent of your sin. Don't go down with the devil. Trust in Jesus because He is the conquering Christ. That was my last point, I didn't even get to it. The conquering Christ who was the Child who was born. The Child who was born is Jesus and He is taken to the very throne of God, He has ascended into the very presence of God. And I don't know about you, but I'm going with Him.
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