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The Christian Counter

 



Driven out of Heaven a Second Time

 

There is one more passage in Scripture that we need to consider. A few hours before His arrest and death, Jesus went to the temple and said, “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoke to him. Jesus said, ‘This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now [at this time] is the time for judgment on the world [that is, the moment of truth has now come to see who will win the contest for Earth]; now [at this time] the prince of this world will be driven out [of Heaven. He will lose his seat in Heaven’s court as Earth’s representative].’” (John 12:27-31, insertions mine) 

 

Adding John 12 to our study, we can assemble three facts. First, Revelation 12:10 is a punctilliar announcement, Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

This declaration could only be made after (a) the price for salvation had been paid, and (b) the devil had been permanently cast out. When God clothes a repentant sinner with the perfect life of Jesus, the devil cannot say a word. In theological terms, the angels said, “Justification has silenced the accuser of our brothers.” Second, Revelation 12:13 allows for no wiggle room. The war in Revelation 12:7-9 occurred between 4 B.C. and A.D. 538. Third, Jesus predicted in John 12:27-31 that the prince of this world would be driven out {of Heaven.}. Putting these three facts together, the following passage makes perfect sense: “At this, she [Mary] turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. ‘Woman,’ he said, ‘why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was a gardener she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’ Jesus said to her [in a familiar tone], Mary.’ [Her ears knew that voice.] ‘Rabboni!” (which means my teacher).  Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’” (John 20:14-17, italics and insertions mine)

 

Jesus was returning to His Father so He could drive Lucifer out of Heaven. The Father had promised to give the world to Jesus and He had to go and receive His inheritance. Even though Jesus gave up His life and He perfectly obeyed the will of the Father, Lucifer was still unwilling to yield his position to Jesus and step down. His loathing of Christ produced the second war in Heaven. Once again, Lucifer was thrown out of Heaven at the speed of lightening – this time for good!”

 

After reviewing the background on the long conflict between Christ and Satan, this warning is easier to understand: “But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” (Revelation 12:12)

 

Look over Lucifer’s report card:

 

      1.   Lucifer and one-third of the angels rebelled against God. Lucifer tried to stay in               

            Heaven.   Failed

 

2        Lucifer deceived Eve. Adam fell, too. Lucifer became prince of this world.   Success.

 

      3.   Lucifer led the antediluvians to openly defy God.   Success.

 

4.   Lucifer led the Israelites into apostasy.   Success.

 

5.   Lucifer tried to kill Jesus at birth.   Failed.

 

6.   Lucifer tried to get Jesus (at His weakest moment) to worship him.   Failed.

 

7.   Lucifer tried to keep Jesus in the tomb by sealing it with a huge stone.   Failed.

 

  1. Lucifer tried to keep his position in Heaven’s government.   Failed. 

 

  1. Lucifer tried to keep the truth about Christ’ resurrection a secret.   Failed.  

 

  1. Defeated and loathing Christ, Lucifer tried to destroy the woman for 1,260 years. Failed.

 

The Chase Begins

 

“The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days…. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:6.11)

 

Comment: After Jesus ascended to Heaven; the devil used the Jews and the Romans to persecute Christians with unbelievable zeal. The Jews hated the Christians because they were tearing down the traditions of Judaism. (Remember the stoning of Stephen and Jesus confronting Saul on the road to Damascus?) The Romans hated the Christians because they thought Christians were another Jewish sect and they hated the Jews. (Remember the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70?) Today, most Christians do not understand or appreciate the decimating persecution that fell upon the early church during the first five centuries after Jesus returned to Heaven. The Romans drove the woman into hiding, but the implosion of the Roman Empire forced the devil to take another approach to keep the woman out of sight. He had very few options, so the devil joined the church at Rome? Working through the carnal minded church leaders, Lucifer gained control of the visible church. Amazing as it sounds, by A.D. 538, the visible church was actually persecuting the invisible church. The devil was determined to eliminate the woman, but Jesus would not allow him to destroy all of His saints.

The Bible says, “The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.” (Revelation 12:6) Because God’s wisdom goes beyond human comprehension and because His ways never deviate from perfect love, God can be very difficult to understand at times. Our understanding of God and His love can be miles away from the truth. The divide between a changeless God and our finite understanding of Him and His plans may remain unknown until a crisis occurs. For example, millions of Christians have been led to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. They refuse to accept the idea that a God of love would allow His saints to remain on Earth to suffer persecution and harm during the Great Tribulation. I have several objections to the theory of a pre-tribulation rapture which I will share before I address the issue of God permitting His saints to suffer persecution.   

 

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