Spiritual warfare is real. It’s both personal and cosmic. Marla uses a real story to illustrate universal principles of spiritual warfare.
In today’s program we’ll be talking some more about the great conflict that started in heaven and will continue until God has eradicated evil from the universe. We’ll also be discussing how spiritual warfare principles to win the war so that Jesus can come back and take us home. We haven’t yet finished the series on the Hebrew feasts called Messiah’s Calendar – I’ll be working on Part 3 of that series after this program.
But I had to interrupt that series to share with you an experience I had a couple of weeks ago as I was preparing to travel to Arkansas. I was invited to speak at a church there to do a kick-off of a Drive-thru Prayer. The Prayer Team had done a fantastic job: they were very organized and had thought through all the details. Overall it was a high Sabbath and the Lord stirred up the community to drive by for prayer. Although things seemed peaceful enough on the surface, behind the scenes there was serious warfare going on.
A Spiritual Attack
Two nights before traveling to Arkansas I suffered a significant warfare attack. I get these quite often actually, seldom talk about it publicly. City Bible Group is a ministry that was birthed in warfare and it continues to this day. When I was involved in the New Age and occultism I opened too many doors to the enemy – I was like Swiss cheese to be humorous except that it isn’t funny. This is why the Lord said in Isaiah 58:12 that we need to be the repairers of the breach. The breach is sin that has made a hole in God’s law, which is also God’s hedge of protection around us. It’s a long story how I came to the Lord after living most of my life in darkness, and there’s a reason why the Lord still allows some of these attacks to happen. But in the midst of the attack He and His angels are always with me, defending and protecting me.
I was starting to get ready for bed but happened to check email on my phone and saw an invitation from a professional network site to connect with someone from my past, a French woman who was one of my Feng Shui students. I’ve discontinued all communication with all of my dear friends in France because all of them were involved in the New Age.
This woman’s request to connect had already come through about a month earlier and I had ignored it. Now it showed up again. So I reflected for a moment and I two thoughts went through my mind: First I felt real compassion for her and it grieved me to reject her a second time. Second I reasoned to myself that I had nothing to fear from her because I had been the more evil of the two! I was the teacher and she was the student. So I didn’t think that to connect with her could harm me in any way. I also had no intention of engaging with her in any way – I simply didn’t want to reject her request to connect a second time. She’s a professional and the site is a professional network, not like a chat room or Facebook where people are directly engaging with each other. So I clicked Accept, put down my phone and thought nothing more of it.
Barely a couple of minutes later I felt this evil entity glue itself to the back of my head, on the right side. I immediately knew it was an attack because I’ve had that happen before. I started rebuking the enemy and crying out to the Lord. But the thing wouldn’t leave and after a while I was resigned to the fact that I’d have to pray this off as I have other evil spirits in the past. So as I’m combing my hair before going to bed all of a sudden I felt a horrendous throbbing pain in the same spot, as if someone had struck me on the head, and short while later a very painful bump emerged – you heard me right, a physical bump on my head. Shortly after that I felt a similar pain on the left side of the back of my head though not so intense, and another sharp wound there, like a cut. I knew this was all happening in preparation for my speaking at this church in Arkansas. So I prayed fervently and then went to bed, completely exhausted.
I couldn’t have been asleep very long when a dream vision woke me up. It was a vision on the screen of my mind, not outside before my eyes. It was very real. It was a vision of Leviathan, the serpent and sea monster, the enemy of God and of His people. I saw the side of his body, full of scales. (If you don’t know who leviathan is, please listen to podcast 034 – The Battle is Real). Unfortunately I’ve had encounters with leviathan before so I recognized him immediately. I had a strong sense of the Holy Spirit compelling me to get up and pray. It was just around 2:30 in the morning and I was so tired! I tried to ignore the feeling but it just got stronger: get up and pray. I couldn’t sleep any more but I felt too tired to get out of bed.
Then I remembered something that Sister Ellen White wrote about the apostle Peter. She said that if Peter had prayed, he wouldn’t have denied Jesus. That statement so impressed me and was so engraved in my mind that I got out of bed and onto my knees. I prayed fervently for well over an hour until I felt that the danger had passed. The Lord had protected me and the dragon left. I was very shaken and so frightened that I wasn’t able to fall asleep until almost 4 in the morning.
Why am I sharing this story with you? I want you to understand that the battle is very real. Satan plays dirty. The spirit entity that attacked me was triggered by that simple action in social media. It gave the appearance of backsliding, going back to people of my past. This is why the Bible says “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). The Lord who’s a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart knew very well that I wasn’t backsliding, but the demons didn’t know that. I was innocently foolish by accepting to connect with that woman. Trust me, I’ve been innocently foolish many times before in this warfare and have paid a very high price for it. Our Christian walk is riddled with landmines – one false step and the enemy will blow you up! We have to be sober and vigilant because our adversary the devil is out there roaring like a lion, seeking whom he may devour.
I want to demonstrate to you that this is completely biblical. In the gospel of Luke, chapter 22, Jesus and the disciples were having Passover dinner. This dinner takes place right before the events of Jesus’ passion in the Garden of Gethsemane. Listen to the conversation between Jesus and Peter just after Jesus had announced that one of His disciples would betray Him: “And the Lord said,[a] “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren. But he said to Him, Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death. Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me” (Luke 22:31-34).
Later that evening in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went to pray and asked His disciples to also watch and pray. A supernatural slumber came upon them, a heavy drowsiness that they couldn’t resist and their eyes kept closing. Jesus came back the first time and found them asleep: “Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:40-41). Jesus came back twice and found them asleep. The third and last time was just as Judas was coming with the priests and the elders to capture Him.
What happened with Peter after he had failed to pray as Jesus had asked him to? First of all, when the priests and their entourage came to take Jesus prisoner Peter took out a sword and cut off the ear of one of them. Jesus rebuked him and put the ear back on (John 18:10). Later that night when Jesus had been brought to the high priest Peter followed after Him. You all know the story: when certain Jews recognized him as being a follower of Jesus Peter denied it three times and then the cock crowed just as Jesus had prophesied. Peter left and wept bitterly (John 18:15-27, Luke 22:54-62).
The outcome would have been much worse if Jesus had not prayed for Peter, but he had. Therefore even though Satan managed to shake Peter and he sinned, yet he received the gift of repentance and learned a powerful lesson that would serve him throughout his ministry. When Peter said “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8) he knew exactly what he was talking about.
Satan may not attack you as he attacks me, but he’ll tempt you. The temptation may come through a person, a social network, a behavior, a TV program or movie, music, or a myriad other avenues. This is why Sister White said “Guard the five senses for they are the avenues to the soul”. Unless you pray without ceasing, you’ll fall into temptation. Also keep away from the appearance of evil because both people and demons can’t read your mind.
Who’s involved in the war
From everlasting to everlasting is God, the Creator of all things. In Exodus 34 when Moses had asked the Lord if He would show him His glory, this is how God presented Himself to Moses: “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:6-7).
The war between good and evil started in heaven, thousands of years ago. Lucifer was a covering cherub who was perfect in his ways from the day that he was created, until iniquity was found in him (Ezekiel 28:1). Enamored with his own beauty and wisdom, he wanted to be above God. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).
This created being began to “trade lies” in heaven, misrepresenting the character of God before the angels. In fact, even as God is our judge, He also stands accused by Satan the accuser. Satan is not only the accuser of the brethren, he’s also God’s accuser. Therefore the angels are also involved in this war: both God’s holy angels who remained obedient to Him as well as Satan’s fallen angels who followed him in his rebellion. A third of the host of heaven followed Satan.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9). Revelation 12:4 says that the dragon with his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. In the Bible very often the stars of heaven represent angels. This means that a third of the angels followed Satan.
Humans are also participants in this warfare. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he planted in her mind the same kinds of doubts that he planted in the minds of the angels: “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1). He was trying to make God’s law grievous with requirements that went beyond anything God ever asked for. This is exactly what Satan did with the Sabbath – he made it heavy with so many requirements that the Sabbath became a burden for the Jewish people to keep. Then the serpent contradicted God’s word: God had said that they would die and the serpent said “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Then the serpent insinuated that God has a power agenda: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Satan was promising Eve she could be as God, having forbidden knowledge and being able to define within herself what is good and what is evil.
The only reason God didn’t zap Satan and nip the rebellion in the bud is because if He had, the angelic beings would still doubt in their minds whether Satan’s accusations were true. God is allowing Satan’s plan and his evil government to play out until the limit is reached, so that the entire universe may witness the absolute disaster that Satan’s rule brings
The Evil Hierarchy
Ephesians 6 is the well-known chapter where Paul describes the full armor of God. He also gives us the evil hierarchy of the kingdom of darkness. Let’s read Ephesians 6:10-13: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand”.
The good news is that Paul is using two techniques here to guarantee us the victory. Let’s notice first of all the sandwich technique:
- First, he says: being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and putting on the armor will enable us to stand.
- Second, he gives us the bad news: he describes the enemy and names the different layers of the kingdom of darkness.
- Thirdly, he again exhorts us to put on the armor that we may stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
In the sandwich technique, the enemy is trapped in the middle. As long as we’re wearing the armor we have the victory. Hallelujah!
The other technique is based on the scripture that says “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established”. (I just published a blog post on this, you might want to check it out on our website). In these verses Paul says twice – in other words, he gives us two witnesses – that by putting on the armor we won’t fall as Adam and Eve fell, but instead we’ll be able to stand.
In any war, the best way to obtain the victory is to know your enemy. Paul tells us: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. Let’s take them one by one.
At the top of the evil hierarchy are the principalities. Principalities have authority over kingdoms and territories. The word principality comes from the word “prince”. Jesus is the prince of peace. Satan is the prince of darkness. Think of Daniel 10, when the Archangel Gabriel tells Daniel that he’d been sent to answer Daniel’s prayer but was retained by the prince of Persia. Think of the word kingdom, as in kingdom of light and kingdom of darkness.
Jesus referred to Satan as the prince of this world, because he usurped Adam’s domain, planet earth. Satan took control of the territory and everything in it including human beings. Satan is also called the prince of the power of the air because he controls the airways and earth’s atmosphere. We read in Ephesians 2:1-2: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience”.
The second level in the hierarchy is powers. Evil powers cause or command to cause strife, violence, war, death, poverty, famine, disease, cruelty, prejudice, oppression, sexual immorality, and even natural disasters.
Rulers of the darkness of this world:
The rulers of the darkness of this world prevent people from receiving God’s truth. They keep people blinded and deaf. You can preach the gospel until you’re blue in the face; certain people are so spellbound that they just can’t hear it. You can put evidence in front of their eyes but they can’t see it. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
The Bible has many more passages about this spiritual blindness. Let’s consider Matthew 13:15: “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them”. (The other witnesses to this verse are in Isaiah 6:10, Jeremiah 5:21, Ezekiel 12:2).
Remember how scales fell from Paul’s eyes after Ananias touched him in Acts 9? Who has scales? The serpent, the dragon, leviathan – all different names for the same being – that being has scales. The supernatural slumber that came upon the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, that heavy drowsiness that they couldn’t resist and that closed their eyes, was put upon them by the rulers of the darkness of this world. They are responsible for spiritual blindness.
Laodicea, the last church of the 7 Churches in the Book of Revelation, is also stricken with spiritual blindness. Jesus counseled us to anoint our eyes with eye salve that we may see.
Spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places:
These wicked hosts execute the orders coming down from the top. They create strife and unleash chaos. They tempt, harass and torment believers. These hosts of wickedness have no other agenda than to steal, kill and destroy.
Satan and his fallen angels have caused the damnation of hundreds of millions of souls who have sought spiritual truth but were deceived. These evil spirits bring apostasy, paganism, witchcraft and other abominations such as pedophilia into the highest levels of the church. They introduced false worship on the day of the sun. They devise all counterfeit spirituality whether in the Vatican, the New Age or any other form of organized religion that is not bible-based. These are the ones who would deceive if it were possible even the very elect (Matthew 24:24). Satan and his demons are responsible for casting down the sanctuary and Jesus’ daily intercession in the Holy Place:
- “Yea, he (referring to the anti-christ) magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered” (Daniel 8:11-12)
- “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate” (Daniel 11:31)
- “They have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of Thy name to the ground” (Psalm 74:7)
- “Lift up thy feet into the perpetual desolations: even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary” (Psalm 74:3).
Satan and his fallen angels are preparing the way for the anti-christ, also called the son of perdition. This is the spirit of Judas, the other son of perdition who betrayed Jesus with a kiss. The anti-christ will betray Jesus with a kiss, posturing as the friend of God when in reality he’s the arch-enemy of God.
What is the war over?
The war is over subjects or souls, the territories or realms they possess or inhabit, and over thrones or modes of government.
First of all, the war is about regaining souls. In Leviticus 25 we read about the Hebrew Laws of Redemption, which dictate how lost property may be reclaimed, and how someone who’s sold himself into slavery may be redeemed: only a next of kin can redeem. By their disobedience Adam and Eve sold themselves and their descendants into slavery.
Jesus had to play by the rules in order to redeem us. He had to be incarnated as flesh and blood in order to be allowed to pay the price for us. No human qualified to redeem humanity because no human being had the spotless record of being without sin: “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). It also had to be a member of the Godhead because ultimately only the Godhead could forgive the debt of sin. Jesus was willing to give up heaven for a season. He agreed to risk being tempted like we are: He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). If He had fallen He would have forever lost not only His divinity but also His life.
The war is also about regaining the lost possession or dominion of planet earth. Adam and Eve handed over their dominion to Satan through their disobedience. Their sin gave Satan the legal right to take dominion over them and as a consequence, over their possession. The basis of the concept of legal right is explained in Romans 6:16: “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
Adam and Eve obeyed the serpent and disobeyed God, therefore they found themselves – and we as their descendants found ourselves – slaves to Satan. In Luke 4:5-6 we read: “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish”. This is why Jesus referred to Satan as the prince of this world.
There’s an important distinction we need to understand about the process of redemption: At the Cross Jesus bought us back and the land. The price has been paid in full. But we haven’t yet been brought back nor has He yet possessed the land. This takes place after Jesus comes back. If the process of redemption were indeed finished we wouldn’t be here – we’d all be where Jesus is. The cross was a key milestone, but we’re still waiting for Jesus to come back as a conquering king to reclaim the subjects and the land and to impose His government.
The mode of government is another reason that we’re in a cosmic war. Whose government shall rule the universe: God or Satan’s? Whose throne shall prevail? God’s government is built upon His holy law, the Ten Commandments. This is why they rest in the Ark of the Covenant underneath the mercy seat. The law is the foundation of God’s throne. We read earlier that Satan wants to sit above God’s throne. He wants to rule over the universe and impose rebellion and disobedience to God’s law. God needed to let Satan’s mode of government here on planet earth unfold so that the citizens of the universe could see where rebellion and disobedience would lead: to chaos, death and total destruction.
Fortunately, Satan will not prevail. We know how the story ends. In Daniel 7:13-14 we read what happened when Jesus ascended to heaven after His death and resurrection: “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed”.
God’s Character Vindicated Before the Universe
God’s character will be vindicated before the universe in several ways. We said earlier that His mode of government will have been proven to be better than Satan’s mode of government.
His judgments will be proven to be just and fair. The accuser accuses God of being unjust. In Psalm 51:4, King David said: “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge”. We have a second witness to the fact that in the judgment process we’re not the only ones being judged but God also is being judged. Paul said in Romans 3:4: “Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged”. King David said “when You judge”, but Paul more clearly says “when You are judged”. The watching universe will scrutinize every case, every decision, to see whether God has been just.
Therefore in order to vindicate His character, His judgments need to be pronounced just and fair by all. In Revelation 15 the 144 000 proclaim that God’s judgments are true and righteous. In Revelation 16 the angels proclaim that God’s judgments are true and righteous. And all including the wicked shall acknowledge that God’s judgment upon them was fair: “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
Another way in which God’s character will be vindicated is by the demonstration that His law can be kept. Satan says that no one can keep God’s law – that only Jesus was able to overcome sin because He was God. The 144 000 will be the evidence in the case that demonstrates conclusively that God’s law can be kept. The 144 000 are a people that God is refining and preparing for the time of trouble and for the great obedience test of the end of time. The test is between the mark of the beast and the seal of God. No one will be allowed to buy or sell without the mark of the beast. Those who resist and refuse the mark of the beast shall suffer thirst and hunger. Worst of all they’ll suffer persecution, ridicule and marginalization. The 144 000 will stand and not fall in the face of atrocious temptation and persecution.
This is a faithful remnant. They keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 14:12 and Revelation 19:10). The 144 000 are commandment-keepers and therefore Sabbath-keepers who will remain faithful to God though the heavens fall. They will keep God’s law out of love and not out of coercion. Quite the contrary, the enemy will deploy all of his evil ammunition to coerce them to violate God’s law, but will not prevail against them. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11). “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1).
The 144 000 have no guile in their mouths, meaning no false doctrine or false teachings. They’re virgins – not literally virgins, but they have no part in apostate churches or harlot churches. And they’re the first fruits of God. This characteristic always puzzled me because if anything they’ll be the last-fruits, seeing that when Jesus comes the dead in Christ shall rise first followed by the 144 000 who will be transformed. But then I came across this verse in James 1:18 that helped me understand what firstfruits means in this verse: “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created” (NIV). In other words, the 144 000 literally live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Once God’s character has been vindicated by all in the eyes of all, God shall proceed to destroy sin and sinners as well as Satan and his fallen angels. They will all be cast into the lake of fire, thereby ending the problem of sin in the universe. From this death there is no resurrection.
How do we win the war?
Technically, this war is not against us, it’s between Christ and Satan. It was Michael the Archangel, one of the names of Christ, who cast the dragon out of heaven. Unfortunately we’re caught in the middle. Remember the prophecy spoken by God to the serpent in Genesis 3:15? “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel”. Well, there’s a very revealing verse in Revelation 12:17 that’s in direct continuity with Genesis 3:15. It tells us how much the dragon hates God’s remnant people: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). The woman is the faithful, commandment-keeping church.
In Revelation 12 the great red dragon spewed water out of his mouth against the woman. In prophecy water means multitudes of people, tongues and nations. Revelation 12 tells us that multitudes would come against God’s faithful church. This prophecy in Revelation 12 was already fulfilled during the 1260 years of the Dark Ages when the papacy persecuted God’s saints. But something very similar will happen again at the end of time.
How do we overcome then, with such a formidable opponent coming against us with great wrath?
Our greatest weapon is holiness. “Be ye holy because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:26). “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 20:7). And no, this is not only Old Testament. We have a New Testament witness to this: “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). Peter is confirming that the Old Testament instruction remains in effect for us today.
We have to stop sinning. We can’t give the enemy any more legal right. There can be no more sin in the camp of Israel. This requires moving into the Most Holy Place where Jesus is. Most Christians are still in the outer court and some are still in the camp! Most Christians are fixated on the cross, Jesus’ sacrifice, which was offered in the court. But since dying in the court Jesus already moved through the Holy Place to perform intercession on our behalf, applying the blood of the new covenant to our sins. He’s now in the Most Holy Place, still interceding for us, but also performing judgment on God’s people.
The Most Holy Place is where the law is, inside the Ark of the Covenant. The Most Holy Place is the only place where we can obtain the seal of God, because the seal is the Sabbath, the fourth commandment of God’s law. And if you’re thinking like most Christians that the law is of no effect and we’re under grace, listen to what the Bible says in Revelation 11:19: “Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail”. This passage is describing what happens at the 7th. trumpet, which triggers the great day of the Lord when Jesus returns.
God is trying to bring us back into obedience to the law so that we can be sealed with the law. Without the law there’s no seal. Outside the Most Holy Place there’s no seal. You have to be with Jesus in the Most Holy Place to receive God’s name on your forehead that will protect you through the time of trouble until Jesus comes. You have to give your sins to Jesus by confessing them. Only then can He apply His blood to them to wash them away. Only then can He blot out the record of your sins from the sanctuary. We have to be like Jesus who was able to say: “the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).
A Chosen Generation
Satan wants to destroy us. God wants to save us. But we have to stop sinning! God is calling us to a very high calling: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”. The King James Version says “a peculiar people”. You can’t be conformed to this world any more. Don’t be afraid to be peculiar. Learn to be peculiar. Abstain from the lusts of this world.
The world started with an obedience test and will end with an obedience test. We are called to stand where Adam and Eve fell. There are mighty promises we can stand on: “He shall be held up, for God is able to make a man to stand” (Romans 14:4). “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy…” (Jude 1:24). We can’t do it alone, but God can do it in us. If we surrender everything to Him He will finish the work in us. Finishing the work is having the victory over sin and winning the war. We don’t have to fall – God has promised to give us the victory over sin! We are called to follow the Lamb wherever He goes, and that means to the victory. Jesus overcame where Adam fell and He’s calling us to do the same.
Many of us have such sinful pasts that we can’t get there without much suffering. I know that’s my case. But I take great comfort in this scripture about Jesus in Hebrews 5:8-9: “Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him”. If we’re willing, Jesus will teach us obedience. It will require going through the furnace of affliction to remove the dross from the gold. “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10). God wants us to be wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15). Our faith will be severely tested, but we can do it! Jesus did it and He’s our example. “When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).