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Friday, October 12, 2012

O God ... Thine Enemies # 9

Ten enemies on the move out from the depths of satan plus seven enemies which God has destroyed equals 17. 10 + 7 = 17.  And seventeen is the number which means that God is working all things after the counsel of His Own Will. Beloved, Psalm 83 proves that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (1 Corinthians 10:4).

These make war and the Lamb shall overcome them

In Revelation chapters twelve, thirteen and seventeen, the numbers seven and ten are used again to describe this evil confederation of the enemy. Revelation 12:3-9 speaks of that great dragon who is that old serpent, called the devil and satan; and it says that he has 7 heads, which speak of his authority and government, and he has 10 horns, which speak of his strength and power. But, let us always remember, satan's power and government is limited; - God is Omnipotent, All-Powerful; Christ is All-Authority!

This is why the numbers 10 and 7, when referring to the enemy, are broken and divided; because from the beginning, God determined that satan's limited power and limited authority would only last for a limited period of time. Let us remember that when the battle is the fiercest, it is because satan knows he has only a short time (Revelation 12:1-12).

The figurative language of Revelation thirteen and seventeen describes the beast which is the culmination of all that is antichrist. It describes the antichrist spirit of satan himself which has been opposing all that is of Christ, in Christ, through Christ, and unto Christ, since the day of satan's fall! This beast, this antichrist spirit, ascends out of the bottomless pit, the abyss. This beast, this antichrist spirit, ascends out of the abyss which is the depths of satan himself: - satan's evil spirit is antichrist. And this beast, this antichrist spirit, with its 7 heads and 10 horns (authority and power) has a great whore, a woman, sitting upon it. And this woman's name is "mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth."

The Mystery Babylon is a figurative name which is inclusive of all false religions, including false Christianity. False Christianity, counterfeit Christianity, as the hardest of the false religions to discern, for it comes closest to the read thing, but it is not! This Mystery Babylon sits upon the beast; therefore, the antichrist spirit supports all false religion; and this antichrist spirit especially supports false Christianity. Since false Christianity is the hardest to discern, it is therefore one of the most deceptive and most dangerous and most effective weapons that the enemy employs against the people of God.

Now in Revelation 17, we also find a great confederation of God's enemies. Here it says, "The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth" (v. 9). We have already seen that the seven heads represent the limited authority and power of satan, so what does it mean when it says "the seven heads are seven mountains?" In the Word of God, mountains are referring to the things of God, such as Mt. Sinai or Mt. Zion, etc., the Word is referring to God's highest thought for His people; but when mountains (high places) have reference to the enemy, the Word is referring to man's way and method of reaching God, ways that are inspired by satan such as the tower of Babel. The "high places" in the Old Testament were places where false gods were worshiped; and many times the people of God even tried to worship God in these "high places." God's verdict upon the "high places" was that they were an abomination to Him.

Therefore, when the Word says the woman sitteth upon the seven heads which are the seven mountains, it is saying that all false religion, and especially false Christianity, is supported by satan's authority and by man's own ways and means of worshiping and reaching God.

The Word also says the 10 horns are 10 kings. This is not referring to literal kings and rulers of the earth, but like Psalm 83 it is referring to the unseen satanic forces - principalities; powers; rulers of the darkness of this age, this order of things; spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies (Ephesians 6:12). And Revelation 17:13 and 14 tells us that these have one mind, one purpose, and they gave their power and authority to the beast, the antichrist spirit of satan. "These shall make war with the Lamb."

No wonder the warfare that the true Church is experiencing is so "exceeding fierce." We are in the last days of an age, maybe the last days of the final age, and the enemy forces are joined together to wage war against the Lamb. But, again, let us not stop with these words, for Revelation 17:14 not only says, "These (this vast confederation of evil) shall make war with the Lamb," it also triumphantly proclaims: The Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings.

And the Word does not stop here, for to our everlasting wonderment and joy, the Word of God also declares, and they that are with Him (the Lamb) (they who are one in mind, one in will, one in purpose, with the Lamb) are called, and chosen, and faithful.

We began our study in order that we might learn more of what it means to become an overcomer, to be among those who are "faithful," during the "exceeding fierce" times, during the "perilous times," we face as the age we live in draws to a conclusion. In light of this the Lord led us to search out the Divine Connection between the Gospels and the Book of Revelation; and as we can see, the Lord led us right into the front lines of the spiritual warfare. And the conflict is "exceeding fierce!"

Beloved, what we have written is not just a Bible study: we have written this because the Body of Christ is in the midst of, and is experiencing, the exceedingly dangerous seasons that set in as an age reaches its conclusion. There is no doubt that the satanic forces have joined together in an unholy confederation against God; and these evil forces have united in order to stop the people of God from becoming the fullness of Christ.

As we draw closer to the conclusion of this age in which we live, we need to realize that the spiritual warfare will become more and more intense; the spiritual pressures will intensify! and intensify! and intensify! There is only one way to become an overcomer during these "exceeding fierce" times - there is only one way to overcome him, that old serpent, called the devil and satan: And they - the overcomers - overcame him because of the Blood of the Lamb, because of all that Christ is and all that He accomplished, and because of the word of their - the overcomer's - testimony, their life, their testimony is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the living evidence, the living expression, that Christ is Alive for Evermore, and they - the overcomers - did not love their life, their own self-life, even to death, they allowed the workings of the Cross in their lives until the day they died.

Beloved, John was "in the Spirit" when he recorded these overcoming words for those who desire to be overcomers. He was "in the Spirit", which means he was full of, and controlled by, the Holy Spirit; his spirit was in union with the Holy Spirit in purpose and in action. When John was "in the Spirit" he was not having some ecstatic or mystical experience - there is nothing ecstatic about being on the Isle of Patmos! There is nothing ecstatic about the exceeding fierceness of the spiritual warfare! There is nothing ecstatic about becoming an overcomer! No! an overcomer is an overcomer, a more than conqueror, in the midst of all these things. And no matter how perilous or exceedingly fierce the times may become, an overcomer is one who has been persuaded, who cannot be made to doubt, that God is working all things after the counsel of His Own Will and that nothing can separate him from the Love of God, which is in Jesus Christ!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(the end)

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