The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” – Psalm 110:1 NIV
Not being omnipresent, Satan roams both the earth and the heavenly realms (Job 1:6-7; 2:1-2). Although he is enthroned here, he presents himself before God in heaven where he accuses us (Rev. 2:13; 12:10); similarly, he assigns his “princes” territories on earth (Dan. 10), yet these rulers and authorities are spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph. 3:10, 6:12). King David’s prophecy above indicates ALL these enemies of our Lord will be cast down from the heavenly realms to be made Christ’s footstool on earth below.
This prophecy is so central to God’s plan that it is referenced directly five times in the NT: by the Lord Jesus Himself in all three synoptic gospels (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; and Luke 20:41-43), by Peter when he addressed the crowd on Pentecost (Acts 2:34-35), and in Hebrews 1:13. It is further expounded upon in Heb. 10:12-13.
Now follow me here for an interesting side note: God the Father decrees that Christ will not leave the heavenly realms physically UNTIL He, the Father, has made Christ’s enemies a footstool for His feet. That includes the antichrist, and he cannot be revealed, let alone defeated, until Christ first raptures His Bride (see 2 Thess. 2:1-8). Christ therefore will remain in the air and not touch ground when He comes for His Bride to bring her back with Him to His Father’s house (see 1 Thess. 4:16 and John 14:1-3, also Part 7).
Note also that God placed everything under [Christ’s] feet at His ascension (Eph. 1:22), but King David’s prophecy won’t be fulfilled until we, the remaining overcoming members of the Body of Christ, are transformed and ascended with Him (see Eph. 1:9-10).
Indeed, the rapture of the overcoming Church remnant and its very presence in the heavenly realms is precisely what casts all forces of evil down to the earth for the great tribulation. Having already addressed this in the beginning of Part 6, today we will show that this is the central point of the cardinal symbolic twelfth chapter of The Revelation of Jesus Christ. May God grant us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation as we study this matter whole-heartedly! Amen.
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The Church, co-heir with Christ, is to glorify God by exercising dominion over His entire creation, which includes Satan and his fallen angels. Multiple NT Scriptures relay this, including Romans, which says quite simply the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (16:20).
This prophecy of the devil and his seed (offspring) being crushed by the seed of the woman is central to God’s purpose for man; it is the first prophecy of Scripture, spoken by God Himself in Genesis 3:
So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, … I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and hers; he will crush your head…” (vv. 14-15 NASB)
If you make the Most High your dwelling… you will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. (Psalm 91:9, 13 NIV).
As those who read Part 6 may recall, this victory over the offspring of the serpent was expounded upon by the OT prophet Daniel as the court which sat on thrones before God in heaven, judging the little eleventh horn (antichrist) which arises from the fourth beastly kingdom of mankind:
But the court will sit and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. (Dan. 7:26).
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Now, in Part 10 we saw that the overcoming Church remnant is portrayed in the key twelfth chapter of The Revelation of Jesus Christ as the man child… snatched up (Greek: harpazo; Latin: rapturo) to God and to his throne (12:5). The subsequent verses show that the rapture of Christ’s overcomers precipitates war in heaven – our very presence with God in the heavenly realms as “the Christ” (see Intro) casts Satan and his angels to earth, fulfilling Genesis 3:15 and Psalm 110:1, ushering forth the reign of the antichrist and the great tribulation. Let’s read and study this.
Revelation 12: War in Heaven
7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 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.
9 Note that verse 9 not only identifies the great red dragon of vv. 3-4 (studied in Part 10) as Satan, but implies that the third of the stars swept out of the sky and flung to earth (v. 4) are his fallen angels.
10 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. 11 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. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! 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.”
10 Hallelujah!! This is one of THE most blessed moments we have been eagerly anticipating! I suggest we linger here, worshiping our Almighty God and Savior before proceeding…
Now, please consider covering the next paragraph and carefully rereading this passage to determine for yourself who exactly will be given the honor of speaking these blessed words from the heavenly realms in the very near future.
Did you notice the word “our” occuring thrice in v. 10? The phrases the kingdom of our God and the accuser of our brothers who accuses them before our God (emphasis added) indicate that the loud voice John hears in heaven is the voice of the redeemed dwelling in the heavenly realms before and during the great tribulation: the male child (v. 5). This is the corporate voice of the Church overcomers from Chapters 2 and 3, raptured in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52) through the open door into heaven and transformed into glorified bodies to become the twenty-four elders introduced in Chapters 4 and 5! SUCH AN EXALTED POSITION GOD HAS PLANNED FOR HIS OVERCOMERS ! (If you haven’t read them already, Part 8 addresses Revelation’s allusion to their rapture through the open door to heaven, and Part 9 examines the crowned elders.)
11 The testimony of the overcoming saints is that they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. The bottom line is that denying self – death to self – MUST occur if we are to overcome Satan. Unlike the overcoming Church saints, all non-overcoming church-goers left behind when Christ raptures His firstfruits will have to endure the Tribulation – they will be conquered by the antichrist (please review and compare Matt. 16:18 with Rev. 13:7). If these foolish virgins finally deny themselves and refuse to worship the beast and receive his mark they will be saved (14:9-12), however they must suffer literal death to self, i.e. martyrdom, during the 3.5 year great tribulation. Praise God, the gospel will still be proclaimed (14:6) after the translation of Christ’s overcomers into heaven, and all people who [wash] their robes and [make] them white in the blood of the Lamb will be part of the great multitude who come out of the great tribulation (7:14, 9).
12 The hurling of Satan out of heaven brings great woe on the earth. Horrific changes immediately follow in Ch. 13: a blasphemous beast empowered and authorized by Satan arises out of the sea, and a second beast performing miraculous signs (the false prophet causing people to worship the first beast) rises out of the earth; these represent the civil and the religious power of the antichrist, respectively. The pouring out of God’s bowls of wrath on all people who worship the beast and receive his mark follows shortly afterward.
13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
13-16 Given that we’ve already shown this woman is Israel (see Part 10), these verses address her divine protection in the desert during the 3.5 years of the great tribulation, Jacob’s trouble (Dan. 9:27, 12:7; Matt. 24:21; Jer. 30:7). Multiple OT Scriptures and Rev. 7:1-8 and 14:1-5 address this.
17 Enraged at God’s protection of Israel, Satan then pursues and wages war against the so-called “tribulation saints” as addressed regarding v. 11 above. Overcome and beheaded by the antichrist, their blessed fate after Christ’s Second Coming is given in Rev. 20:4-6: …And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.