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The Christian Counter

 



The Final Humiliation

 

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus…. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.”

-   Revelation 12:17; 13:7

 

If you read through Revelation 12, you will discover that the devil was humiliated five times in that chapter. In verse 4, the devil tried to kill Baby Jesus through the sword of King Herod, but he failed. (Matthew 2:16) In verse 5, the devil was able to kill Jesus through the Jews, but he could not keep Jesus in the tomb. (Acts 10:39,40) In verses 6 and 14, the devil tried to destroy the believers in Christ for 1,260 years, but the church went into hiding, and God’s Word and His people survived. In verse 7, the devil tried to hold his position in Heaven’s senate (Job 1:6,7), but Jesus took his chair. The devil was thrown out of Heaven on Resurrection Sunday! (John 12:31; Revelation 12:8,9) In verse 15, the devil tried to terminate the Protestant Reformation through war in Europe (Psalm 124:2-4), but God opened a place of religious refuge for Protestants that was the United States of America. Therefore, after being humiliated five times, the devil is understandably furious and focused on the next war. He knows that his time is short (Revelation 12:12), and he is expecting that was six will begin any day. (Revelation 12:17) The was described in Revelation 13:1-8.

 

 This may surprise you, but God will allow the devil to win the upcoming war. Read this twice: “… He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation…. For forty-two months.” (Revelation 13: 7 italics mine) How does the devil achieve total control of Earth?

 

Violence, idolatry, moral degeneracy and sexual immorality have filled up Earth’s cup of sin. Since 1994, the four angels (Revelation 7:1-4) have been holding back God’s judgments for almost ten years. Soon, Jesus will pummel Earth with a series of devastating judgments. Jesus will startle the world with the reality of His coming kingdom. Jesus intends to separate the sheep from the goats with a test of worship. His coming judgments will include a global earthquake, a swath of meteoric firestorms (which will dwarf the recent fires in California), two horrific asteroid impacts, and afterwards, great darkness will cover a third of Earth. (This darkness may be caused by ejecta released from many volcanos.) Altogether, these judgments will cause the sudden death of 1.5 billion people (Revelation 6:8), and as you might expect, the survivors will be frightened and subdued beyond words. Because the governments and infrastructures of the world will be in shambles, political leaders will turn to their religious leaders for answers. The religious leaders of the world will unanimously agree that a Crisis Government should be created to appease God so that His judgments will cease – or no one will survive His wrath. The Bible indicates that political leaders will “go along” and the Crisis Government will demand that everyone worship God.

The word “worship” is mentioned three times in Revelation 13:4 and 8 because the leaders of the Crisis Government will declare worship to be THE solution to appeasing God’s wrath and who can disagree? Think about this: When the infrastructures of communication, transportation, commerce, manufacturing and medical care are in shambles, when 1.5 billion people lie unburied in the streets, and when thousands of coastal cities have totally disappeared because of the tidal waves caused by an asteroid impact upon an ocean, who will be able to argue that worship isn’t THE solution? Desperate circumstances justify desperate actions. Even the 144,000 will be saying, “… Worship Him who made the Heavens, the Earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7) The Bible says, “The whole world was astonished and followed [did not resist] the beast [the Crisis Government]. (Revelation 13:3, insertions mine) In other words, a time and a circumstance is coming when the diverse religions of the world will agree that worshiping God is THE solution to appeasing God’s anger. In this context, a searching argument will rise: What does God require for worship?

 

By definition, worship is an act of submission, showing respect for God’s authority. Remember the story of Cain and Abel? Both men worshiped God, but God refused to accept Cain’s worship because Cain did not submit to God’s demand for an animal sacrifice. (Genesis 4, 1 John 3:12) This made Cain angry and he killed his brother who humbly submitted to God’s authority. There is important end-time parallel here. The devil will enable demonically controlled religious and political leaders to enforce laws demanding worship in ways that are blatantly contrary to the law of God. However, the saints will choose to obey God’s commandments (specifically, the fourth commandment) and refuse to obey the laws of the Crisis Government. Consequently, demonically controlled people will persecute the saints for religious reasons for 42 months. For fear of persecution, “All inhabitants of Earth will worship the beast [the Crisis Government] –all whose names have not been written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8) Even though the devil will be successful for 1,335 days, his reign will end. The devil will be soundly defeated in his seventh war against God, and he will be destroyed in his eighth. 

 

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

-   2 Timothy 4:3,4 

 

During the past five years, terrorists have used the murder/martyrdom technique to draw attention to their causes. Of course, murder/martyrdom dates from antiquity (review Samson’s death in Judges 16:30), but the frequency of people killing themselves in order to kill others has grown substantially in recent years. Terrorism is a demonic genie that has been let out of the bottle in which no one can put back. The world cannot return to where it was before 9/11. The war in Iraq proves that even the most powerful and best-equipped army on Earth cannot stop sneaky acts of violence against unsuspecting civilians.  Every time I hear of a murder/martyr attack, I think of this text: “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become [in Noah’s day], and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was on evil all the time…. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I made them.’” (Genesis 6:5,7, insertion mine)

 

The bulk of today’s murder/martyrdom phenomenon springs from hatred, and as strange as this may sound, humiliation is the root cause. Lucifer was the first to be humiliated when the Father told him that he could not have the exalted position and worship that belonged to Jesus. (Isaiah 14:13-15; Ezekiel 28:13-17) Deep hatred caused Lucifer to lie and scheme among the angels. He eventually led one-third of the angels to join in an attempt to murder Jesus so that he could take Christ’s place. Murder was the only way he could achieve what he wanted. Centuries later, when Jesus publicly humiliated Jewish leaders with their own words, they wanted to kill Him. Jesus responded, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning [of sin], not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he speaks lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44, insertion mine) Jesus said Lucifer was a murderer from the beginning because hatred is the natural response of the carnal heart when humiliated.

 

Cain was humiliated when God showed deference to Abel’s sacrifice. Instead of asking himself why God did not honor his offering, Cain loathed Abel. He suspected that God would make Abel “the first born of creation” and rather than repent of his arrogance, Cain killed Abel. Fro similar reasons, the Jewish leaders murdered Jesus. His wisdom and teachings humiliated them and they did not want Him to take their place. (Acts 10:39; Luke 13:17; John 11:50; 12:10) Hatred rises when humiliation occurs and unless there is a speedy recovery through the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, hatred can fester into a gnawing desire for revenge and retaliation.

 

Because hatred leads to murder, the Bible declares, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.” (1 John 3:15) Of course, there are different forms of humiliation, but the outcome depends upon the core attitude of the heart. If a person has a meek attitude, humiliation is a powerful learning experience. If a person has a proud heart and a stubborn head, humiliation can be devastating. In this latter case, hatred forms because the carnal heart hates humiliation – being made to appear inferior. Hatred starts as a feeling and ends up as an attitude. Jesus said, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:20, italics mine) So, what happens when pride and religious arrogance are humiliated by truth? The murder of Jesus answers the question.

 

We have entered an age of rage, anger, and hatred. Social tensions are mounting. Economic tensions are high. Ethnic tensions are growing. Religious tensions are evident. The world is rapidly coming to a boiling point, which brings me to the point mentioned in the first part of this segment. During the Great Tribulation, there will be a bold and glorious presentation of God’s truth. The 144,000 will humiliate the religions of the world with speech inspired by the Holy Spirit, accompanied by powerful signs and miracles. Hatred will rise up in the hearts of those who hate truth. No wonder Jesus said, “A man’s enemies will be members of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36) Love for truth is not genetic. Love for truth has nothing to do with church experience or affiliation. Love for truth, like hatred, begins as a feeling and grows into an attitude; but unlike hatred, love sets us free to learn more truth. Love enables us to forgive our enemies and leave revenge in God’s awesome hands. (Romans 12:19)

 

In the first part of this segment, I mentioned the devil will be defeated for the seventh time at the Second Coming. During the seven last plagues, the devil will be publicly humiliated (fifth bowl). In a rage, the devil will gather the armies of Earth together in a massive attempt to murder Jesus when He appears. “They [the ten kings] have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the [lamb-like] beast.  They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and Kings of kings….” (Revelation 17:13,14, insertions mine) Of course, the wicked will perish, but once again, murder will be seen as the horrible fruit of hatred. If there is any hatred in your heart, ask Jesus to give you victory over it. He will!

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