JESUS’ PROPHECY OF DECEPTION IN AMERICA (PART 2)
The nation of Israel had a special calling from God. In the days before the Lord’s First Coming, the enemy had deceived the people to where most of them had completely fallen away from their unique calling. This happened in the very country where God’s presence had been greatest. That is how the enemy works! His fiercest attacks are going to be in the area where God’s people are the strongest, especially if they have a special calling from God.
Is the Body of Christ in America repeating history? The fruit of our nation in this last generation reveals that we too are falling away from our calling in these days prior to the Second Coming. As with Israel; it is happening in the part of the world where God’s presence has been the strongest.
My study on this topic began in the spring of 1971. At that time, after my wife and I were obedient to the leading of the Lord to take in six additional children, He began to open my eyes to the tremendous Spiritual warfare the enemy was waging against biblical values in America. Now, almost four decades later, these truths are even more evident than they were back then. Please remember these facts:
One: The spiritual development of America reveals that we have a special calling from God. Other than the nation of Israel, there has never been another country in which God has intervened to the degree He has in the spiritual development of America.
Two: In any endeavor, when things are deteriorating as our fruit reveals, it is always wise to review fundamentals. This principle is true in business, sports, personal relationships, etc., and it is true in our commitment to the basics of Christianity.
Three: It is important to develop an understanding of what is causing the problem. As we saw in the past few chapters, the history of God’s people reveals that Satan has always used either persecution or deception against them. The Bible warns us about his tactics. The way he will deploy his methods will primarily be through the kingdom of the world, or society, and its systems.
Four: Satan is executing his deception against the fundamentals of Christianity in America, and his plan has been incredibly successful in this last generation. Identifying how he is working is key to any corrective action. This is what will free us from the spiritual chains that are binding so many American Christians to the standards of the world’s kingdom.
Spiritual Warfare Not Physical
The warfare in which we are engaged is not a physical one. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil (see Ephesians 6:10-13). My interest is not just the saving of America as a physical entity in the kingdom of the world, but more about saving the mission of Christianity in America. I am a patriotic person; I love our country and am grateful for the freedom our forefathers secured. However, I fear that what we have enjoyed will not last long once the enemy has deceived the Body of Christ into straying from the path of righteousness.
America In Bible Prophecy
Have you ever wondered why America, the greatest superpower in history and a center of Christianity, is not mentioned in Bible prophecy? The results of my research revealed that America actually does play a major role in the last days. Because my approach is new and somewhat overwhelming, I had some of my interpretation of end-times prophetic Scriptures reviewed by Greek-language scholars. Not one disagreed with what I found, or saw it as unfounded. When you read these words as to what the Greek means, do not reject them until you compare what I say to what the Bible says. These comments are especially important regarding what I will share about Revelation 13. I will give you a meaning for every descriptive word or phrase as it relates to America.
Revelation Chapter 13 is key to understanding spiritual warfare in these last days. Before summarizing Revelation 13, I need to review some important truths in Revelation 12 as it is a lead-in to 13. This BLOG and the next will review Chapter 12, then, Revelation Chapter 13 will be presented in my November 22nd BLOG titled ” The Beast of Revelation 13.”
My brother’s vision of a “beast” hovering over America and deceiving Christians, knowing America is a great center of Christianity, and knowing Satan has always viciously attacked anything that God raises up, I did diligent research to see if America fit into this end-times prophecy. Revelation 13 involves what in prophetic language is called a “beast.” These thoughts, plus knowing the moral values in our country were deteriorating so rapidly, added to the devotion I gave to closely examining this spiritual warfare chapter. (See Part 3 of “Deception Illustrated” -the previous blog- to read about my brother’s vision).
No one can be harmed by investigation. Whether it leads to truth or falsehood, the investigator reaps a reward for undertaking the search. If it leads to truth, the investigator would have missed it if he had not made the effort. If it leads to falsehood, the investigator has still been strengthened from the experience. Knowing what we believe and why, always gives us a more sound and sure faith.
If my research seems somewhat overwhelming, this is not an unusual response to Bible prophecy. It has been the experience of God’s people throughout history concerning prophetic Scriptures. Recall the Israelites and their refusal to accept Jesus as Messiah, even though He fulfilled more than 500 Bible prophecies! Unfortunately, their minds were closed! They were looking for a powerful earthly king and kingdom from which they would profit. The message of Jesus was about a spiritual kingdom, so the majority rejected Jesus and His message.
Introduction to Satan’s End-Times Battle Plan
An obvious theme of the book of Revelation is the ongoing battle between good and evil. Behind the beast in chapter 13 is the dragon, or Satan, whose purpose has always been to frustrate the rule of God. In chapter 12 John paints a word picture of the warfare that has been going on since the earliest times. Chapter 12 describes that ongoing conflict symbolically. In it is an overview of some of the major events in God’s plan for both the salvation of mankind and to protect Israel after the birth of the Savior.
Revelation’s 12th chapter opens with a great sign in the sky. “A great and wondrous sign appeared in the heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” (12:1). I understand this woman to be the nation of Israel. The twelve stars are the twelve tribes. The sun and moon are elements of God’s creation that help control various functions on earth.
“She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth” (Revelation 12:2). This verse speaks of the purpose God intended for Israel from the time of Abraham, which was to give birth to His Son (see Galatians 3:16-29), the Christ or the Messiah. The Old Testament chronicles these birth pains, which lasted 2000 years.
“Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads” (Revelation 12:3). Verse 9 tells us that the dragon is Satan. The full meaning of the symbolic language is explained in my discussion of chapter 13; it speaks of an earthly power or authority. Coupling Satan with this earthly power is expected, as the devil’s kingdom is of this world. In this verse The Roman Empire is this earthly power.
“His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born” (Revelation 12:4). God put this picture in John’s prophecy to show the power of Satan’s forces. The second part of the verse informs us that Satan knew Jesus would be born, and stood ready to kill Him at the first opportunity. We are told in the Bible that such an attempt was made when Satan motivated King Herod to give orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem two years old and younger. This was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 31:18), and we are told in Matthew 2:18 that this event fulfilled his prophecy.
“She [the woman/Israel] gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched [“caught” is a more accurate translation of the Greek] up to God and his throne” (Revelation 12:5). Of course, Jesus was the male child to whom Israel gave birth. He returned to Heaven after living on Earth for about 33 1/2 years. Notice that John doesn’t just say Jesus returned to Heaven, but to the throne of God, which indicates His deity.
“The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1260 days” (Revelation 12:6). A major historical event happened to the people of Israel within the generation after the Ascension of Jesus. The Romans dispersed them throughout the world, but they were protected by God and have kept their identity as a race for 2000 years. Now centuries later, the race that descended from Abraham has been re-established in their homeland, Palestine. 1260 days is explained later.
“And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:7-9). After the Resurrection of Jesus there was a war in Heaven between the forces of the archangel Michael and Satan and his legions. Satan and his angels were defeated. They lost their place in Heaven and were hurled to the Earth. I certainly do not understand all that takes place in the spiritual realm beyond what Scripture tells me. I know that in the beginning, Satan was present in the Garden of Eden, and he has been active on Earth throughout history. However, after this war and losing his place in Heaven, history confirms his activity on earth has increased.
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘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. 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 12:10-11).
The word now in this verse is a key piece of information because it tells us when these things of God took place. Ephesians 1:18-21 reveals exactly when that time was. “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparable great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand [at His throne, as stated earlier in Revelation 12:5] in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21). The salvation of mankind came through the blood of the Lamb on the cross. The power of the Kingdom of God and the authority of Christ came when God raised Jesus from the grave and seated Him at His right hand. It was when Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead that victory was won, and Satan and his angels were hurled down to Earth, and the power and authority of Jesus came into being.
Watch for PART 3 of “Jesus’ Prophecy of Deception in America” on November 8th, 2010.Tags: Abraham, Angels, Ascension of Jesus, authority of Christ, battle against spiritual forces of evil, Bethlehem, Bible Prophecy, Christianity in America, crown of twelve stars, crucified, devil’s kingdom, dragon, Ephesians, inheritance, iron scepter, Israel, Jesus, King Herod, Kingdom of God, Michael, Nation of Israel, Old Testament, power of God, Revelation, Revelation 12, Revelation 13, Revelation Chapter 12, Revelation Chapter 13, Roman Empire, Romans, satan, Second Coming, spiritual warfare, superpower, throne of God, twelve tribes, victory