Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Gary Petty] How great are Satan’s deceptive powers? Could you be influenced?
Amazingly, Revelation 20 prophesies of a time when Satan who has been imprisoned by Christ for a thousand years is released. Upon release from his chains, he immediately deceives multitudes of people who have been living peaceably under the rule of Jesus Christ. A people known as Gog and Magog.
Who are these people?
The prophecies teach that they form a massive army and march on Jerusalem—the capital city of God’s government on earth.
Now, these events are prophesied to happen at the end of the Millennium.
But the message of Revelation 20 isn’t the only time that Gog and Magog are prophesied to wage war against the Messiah.
Well today, we’re going to explore two important prophecies—one in the ancient book of Ezekiel and the other in the New Testament book of Revelation—as we discover the prophetic “Wars of Gog and Magog.”
[Announcer] Join our host Gary Petty on Beyond Today !
[Gary] Understanding today’s subject will give you insight into the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, and also insight into the role that Satan plays in the coming wars of Gog and Magog. Plus, you’ll see how to recognize Satan’s deception in your own life now.
You know, day by day we are watching the old world order unravel. Radical Muslim terrorism threatens the future of Western Civilization. The European Union seems to be teetering on disunity. The entire world is faced with the nightmare of rogue tyrants in North Korea and Iran brandishing nuclear weapons. While the United States is embroiled in political, economic and moral confusion.
As the world slides into economic and violent chaos a new, end-time world power will emerge. This world power is prophesied in Revelation 13 as two “beasts”—one representing a political leader and the second a religious leader.
Now we’re not going to spend a lot of time today on Revelation 13, but it is important to recognize that these two end-time leaders are given their power by the “dragon.” That’s what it says.
Now when studying biblical prophecy, it is very important to seek clear interpretation of prophetic symbols. In Revelation 12:9, the “great dragon” is called quote: “the serpent of old…the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…” You see, in the Bible, the dragon is a symbol of the very real rebellious angelic being we know as Satan.
The Bible states that Satan “deceives the whole world.” So how great are Satan’s deceptive powers?
Let me ask you this, have you ever asked, “Why is there so much war and violence and hatred? I mean, if God is all powerful why doesn’t He stop the mayhem? And why does the Bible contain so many prophesies of future horrendous wars?”
Well you know, here’s the hard reality that gives us clarity into understanding the questions of human violence and helps us understand the wars of Gog and Magog. The apostle Paul wrote that Satan is “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 2:1-4). You know, this is a fundamental truth in understanding the world you live in and I live in and the prophecies we’re discussing on today’s program.
Satan is a created angel, but the Creator God has allowed him to rule over this time of human history. No matter where you live, the society you live in—it’s not of God’s design. Under the influence of the “god of this age” every human philosophy, every human society, and every human religion has in it the stains of satanic deception. And you will never see the light until you understand the origins of the darkness.
How great is Satan’s deceptive powers?
You know, the prophecies revealed to the apostle John in the book of Revelation show how the “beast” power as it’s called—both the political and religious leadership, both under the influence of the “dragon”—will gather great armies to fight against Christ at His second coming.
At this time, the glorified Jesus will destroy these armies and stand on the Mount of Olives to make Jerusalem His capital city. And at that time, Satan will be restrained.
Listen to what John writes: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while (Revelation 20:1-3).
Two important points:
1. When Christ returns and Satan is bound it will be the first time since Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden that Satan hasn’t been deceiving human beings as the “god of this age.”
2. Satan is going to be let out of his prison for a short time at the end of the Millennium. Now we’re going to come back to this second point in just a little bit.
Wouldn’t it seem that once Christ establishes Jerusalem as His seat of government, He begins to heal the environment of the entire earth as is prophesied and Satan is removed from deceiving human beings that all people will just sort of naturally want to worship the true God? It would seem that there would be immediate peace and prosperity, brotherhood of all nations, and universal justice.
You know, that’s not exactly how the Bible prophecies describe the beginning of Christ’s reign on earth.
Let’s go to the book of Ezekiel and look at a prophecy about the early days of the Millennium.
Ezekiel was a prophet sent to the captive Jewish people to warn them both before and after the Babylonian captivity. He became sort of a street prophet where all day long he would stand on the street and people would pass by as he declared to them God’s message. Ezekiel’s prophecies contain God’s condemnation of the Jews at that time, but also prophesies that reach across time to the age of Christ’s rule on the earth.
Let me give you an example. At one point, the prophet Ezekiel, is told by God to take two sticks. He is instructed then to perform a public ceremony where he ties the two sticks together. When people ask about this sort of strange behavior, he told them that this represented a time in the future when God would reunite Judah and the lost tribes of Israel into one nation. At that time they would be settled into the land promised to Abraham’s descendants and it says that God would give them one king as their ruler.
He then declared the purpose for God’s message of the two sticks, “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them…” These are the physical descendants of Abraham. “…and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.
My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.