7  Wars          

Sorry this is not the cheeriest of subjects!   But it is vital.
Pray that the Sovereign Lord will give us a better understanding of the days in which he has called us to live. Days of continuing war; and not yet the peace we dream of.


1.   War in Heaven
2.   Cain .v. Abel
3.   War against Amalek, Canaan and Jerusalem
4.   The Unseen War
5.   Families, Cities, Nations and the World at war  
6.   War of Words
7.   Three End-time Wars.   Rev 6,19,20 

Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. ...
so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
  Heb 1226,27

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord,
who has compassion on you.
  Is 5410

1. War in Heaven       

God created Satan as a beautiful angel. What happened?
    Very little in Scripture except perhaps Is 1412-17
    He tried to become God!! But instead became the most evil being.
We see something of his horrible deceitful nature in Gen 3.
    He deliberately attacks man who knew no sin.
    He did not declare war.
          It was a deceitful, 'Undeclared Assault' against God's creation.
    What was his objective? To strip God of the pinnacle of his creation.
Man is thrown out of Eden 'heaven on earth'. Angel set to guard tree of life.
    But not the end of the war. Only man fell; God didn't.
    Hear the sentence God imposed on Satan in Gen 314,15
This war has continued unseen for 6000 years; but it's effect is keenly felt.
God reveals more of the war in the 'heavenlies' in Dan 1010-14
    It is 537 BC, 2 years after the fall of Babylon to Medes and Persians.
    Daniel is now nearly 90 and is given a revelation and understanding of it. 101
    God had sent the archangel Gabriel (also 2 years earlier 921-23)
          This is 'big time' - an archangel is sent to a 'superpower' Prime Minister.
    Not considering the actual vision now - fantastic detail of future
          So accurate that many have said Dan 11,12 must have been written later!
    Our focus is on the preface. What happened before Gabriel came to Daniel.
    Daniel had set his aged, but agile mind to understanding the vision. He failed.
    For 3 weeks Gabriel had to fight his way to Daniel.
          Resisted by the prince of Persia. 1013 Archangel Michael came to help.
Why so significant?
    No human saw or even felt this epic battle. None the less very real.
    Are there such battles today?
          Yes indeed, but cannot prove it.
              Never knowingly seen an angel, let alone an archangel
          e.g. when Russia attacked Israel at Yom Kippur 1973
              at Dunkirk when Britain prayed and 300,000 troops returned to England
              GB lost her Empire - sang 'Britannia rule the waves' - blasphemy!
                  and she also forsook her Balfour promise to Jews. God not impressed!
    Today the battle still rages:
          On earth the UN and the Quartet are still trying to destroy Israel.
          In heaven the "Prince of the Persian kingdom" is still hard at work
              (i.e. Iran, Iraq and Syria, China and Europe + US)
    Satan and his Lieutenants do not submit to any defined national boundaries.
    At the end God says all nations will attack Israel.   Zech 123 142   Joel 32
          But they will sorely regret it because the King of kings will defend Israel.
Gabriel tells Daniel why delayed because important for him to know.   Dan 1012
    Likewise for us now. We need to be aware of what is happening.
The media haven't a clue.
But the Bible is accurate and informative. So much of Daniel refers to the End.
    Pray that God may give us a determination to understand,
          and the assurance that he remains the glorious Sovereign Lord.
    Satan is strong but he cannot thwart or even divert God's plan 1 mm.
    For us, what is of greatest importance in Nebuchadnezzar's statue dream?
          The little rock not hewn by human hands that destroys all world empires!
    What is the connection between the statue dream and the fiery furnace?
          Head gold c.f. all gold. Neb. defies God - but not for long.
    What was significant about the tree dream?
          God humbles Neb. Dan 4 is his testimony - a whole Bible chapter.
    Here Gabriel defeats the prince of Persia.
    We don't know the half of the battle that still rages in the heavenlies.
          Satan has not yet surrendered.
In Rev 121-131 The Woman, the Dragon, Michael and the Woman's offspring.
    God shows a little more of what is happening 'behind the scenes'
    There is war from the dawn of time until the end.
First the woman is revealed. God's Messiah to be born out of chosen Israel.
    A young Jewish woman is about to give birth to the Saviour of the world.
    Satan hates the idea and tries everything to stop it. Herod kills the infants.
    Jesus lays down his life; Satan thought he had won.
          But God snatched him up to heaven.
          Resurrected, he was totally victorious over sin and death.
127 seems to go back to the beginning when Satan rebels.
    There is war in heaven and Michael defeats the ancient serpent.
      He and his demons are thrown down to the earth and leads the world astray,
          starting with Adam and Eve.
1210  tells how saints are accused, but we can overcome by the blood of Jesus.
              Starting with Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham ...
          But woe to the earth ... Satan is still filled with fury - his time is short.
              i.e. the end is near. He makes war against the saints. 1217 137
          The extent of his hatred cannot be exaggerated.
              It is as great as the mercy and love of Jesus that is for us!
          The end will not see great revival but war, tribulation and persecution.
              Not just in China, N.Korea, Indonesia or Iran, but here in the UK !!
              We will lose our lives, but not die!
              Be ready, be determined, trusting in Jesus to protect our souls.
              And let us make the most of the time we have left.
Apostle Paul tells us a little of this same battle in Eph 610-13
    Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
        against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world
        and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  
Eph 612
How can we fight and win? More later.
    Our focus today is to define the enemy.
          To know who it is that is so against us.
          To become more aware of his objective.
              i.e. To capture our souls and by any means keep us out of heaven.
              See Screwtape letters.
          To be convinced that the battle still rages in heaven for my soul.
    Let us be earnest and plead with the Lord Almighty
          to be our only effective defence.
    How can I fight an enemy that is:
              as slippery as an eel,
              as wily as an old fox,
              as strong as an ox.
          He is no match for the King of kings.
              Not then, not now, not ever.
The final battle we will look at in detail in the last session of this series.
    But see how in every age it is God himself who fights for us.   Rev 1911-21 209,10
    I love to read again and again of his glorious victory
          and of the eternal destruction of the horrible enemy of our souls.

2. Cain .v. Abel         

The origin of war, and Why?
Jesus declared that Abel was righteous before he died. Math 2335
In fact he died because he was righteous.
    As did the Christ himself and so many of the prophets he sent.
    Jesus pleaded, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
        how often I have longed to gather your children together,
        as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
  Math 2337
And Stephen cried out: You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers:
        You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute?
        They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One.
        And now you have betrayed and murdered him.
  Act 751b,52
Yet the heart of God yearns for it to be different.
Persecution often has little obvious reason.
    The wicked fight the righteous -
          but they hardly know why such hatred burns within them.
      Jesus just stated it as a fact. No servant is greater than his master.'
          If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.   Jn 1520   also Act 752
Let's go back to the beginning and examine: Why did Cain kill Abel?
    In a word he was jealous.
The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering,
    but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour.   Gen 44b,5a
Why did God look with favour upon Abel?
By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did.
By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings.
  Heb 114
Abel knew his best was totally inadequate.
He offered it in faith assured of the perfect sacrifice that would one day be made
The assurance was that God revealed to him that his sins were forgiven.
How different from Cain's casual offering, with which God was not impressed!
Cain was filled with unjustified envy.
    He could have bought the best, but he didn't. Why?
          Because he had no heart to do so.
    He admitted no need. Thought God is just a prop for the old and the weak.
    He saw no requirement to humble himself before the Lord Almighty.
    He saw no reason to worship the great Creator.
Many find church a boring duty - not at GCC, I hope! -
    Why boring? Because they know little of God's mercy.
    They confess little and thus know little forgiveness. c.f. woman in Lu 7
Cain was angry, very angry. And it showed
So the Lord who knows every thought of our hearts - now and even tomorrow -
    and knew Cain's evil intent, said to him:
    "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
          If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?
          But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door;
          it desires to have you, but you must master it."   Gen 46,7
God asks a question that goes to the very centre of the problem.
    Cain could have answered truthfully, "Because I hate Abel, I'm jealous."
          But of course he didn't.
          Not many do. c.f. David 2 Sam 127,13
    "Why are you jealous? What has Abel got that you haven't?"
          Happiness and the sheer relief of sins forgiven!
    Cain refused to confess his need. He rejected the warning of God.
          Cain fed the wrong wolf - NL 24/9/06
    Envy became raw jealousy,
          Jealousy became dominating hatred,
              Hatred then ruled his heart and murder soon followed.
How can any man 'master sin'?
    Only by the extraordinary grace of God.
It is the special task of the Holy Spirit to convict us.   Jn 168
    He brings honesty into our conscience.
    He stops us making feeble excuses
          (I can't help it; everyone does it; friends encouraged me ...)
    He generates in our hearts an overwhelming desire for God -
          a desire that was totally foreign to Cain.
Story of talents in Math 2514-30 The man who gave up because thought God hard.
Even after murder God gave Cain an opportunity:
    He says to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel? (as if God didn't know!)
          Cain lied - "I don't know." (More important than 'brother's keeper')
    God gives him yet another opportunity. "What have you done?"
          Cain makes no response.
    So God did what he had to do: pronounced judgement.
          Cain still did not repent. Just complained at harshness of punishment!
All down the ages men have fallen prey to envy and jealousy and thus war.
    God has given us clear warning in the story of Cain and Abel.
One might think the worship of idols is rare today - at least in the West.
    Or is it? What is at the heart of Idolatry?
          Insurance against disaster.
          To get what you haven't got. Prosperity, children, happiness ...
          Col 35 Greed (or covetousness KJV) is idolatry.
              And greed is very common.
          Who says greed (the whole basis of advertising) is wrong?
              God does! Exd 2017, 15
          Who takes any notice?
              Very few. The result? Consuming envy and a mountain of debt.
              Unsecured credit card debt in UK is now>£3,000 / person
                    and double every other EU country.
          Does it matter?
              See what happened to Cain. He should be a stern warning to us all.
          In the tribulation men refuse to repent.
              But they easily curse God! Rev 920 169, 11, 21 And pay a high price!
James hits the nail on the head :
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.   James 313 - 43
The antidote to envy?
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,
because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
  Heb 135
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. ...
To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel
.   Heb 1222,24
The blood of Abel cried for justice.
The blood of Jesus brought Justice.
    A very unexpected justice.
    Punishment was completed in full;
          not by the guilty but by the faultless!!
The blood of Jesus does indeed speak most powerfully.
    Either for us or against us!!

3. War against Amalek, Canaan and Jerusalem         

Without doubt this study will be the most difficult to grasp.
You will see why when we have read three scriptures;
    Scriptures which we would probably prefer not to have been written.
    But God has done so - and with good reason.
    So rather than reject it, let us strive to perceive the mind of God in this.
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it,
because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
  Exd 1714, 16b   Deut 2519
Then the Lord said to Moses, tell the people this: ... My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces.   Exd 2022 2323,24
When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations - the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you - and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.   Deut 71,2 (no innocent civilians!)
This is a most difficult concept for any modern man to accept.
How can the God of Love and Grace declare war on anyone?
    And not just declare war, but commanding their total destruction!
Were these instructions 'one off' or do they justify all war?
    Clearly the former.
    And it is God who decides, not men.
    For the Canaanites it was only when their sin
          'had reached full measure'.   Gen 1516
Why did God command their total destruction?
    Had God done it before? Did he repeat it later? Will he do so in the future?
After Adam disobeyed God, he and his descendants became evil;
    It became their nature. Only a few sought the Lord - Abel, Enoch, Noah ...
After 1,600 years what was the state of the fallen world?
    The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth - men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air - for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.   Gen 65-8 (so there was a precident)
Men had only obeyed one command of God - to be fruitful and multiply!
At that time only one man in the whole world was righteous. Noah
So wicked had all the other men become that God had to wipe them out.
So extreme is this judgement,
    so against modern man, who only desires to continue in his wickedness -
    Peter prophesies this:   2 Pe 24-6 33-8
    Men will scoff not only at God as Creator
          but also at God's right to judge evil men.
    In order to try and justify this they deliberately deny the flood ever happened.
          Or at very least the reason why God unleashed it.
Did God do right in the days of Noah? (3000 BC) Yes he did!
And what about in Abraham's day when he destroyed Sodom? Was he Just?
    Of course he was. (2000 BC)
What about the Canaanites when their sin had reached its full measure?   Gen 1516
    What was their sin anyway? Sexual perversion and the worship of idols.
Abraham believed God, he knew God would fulfill his promise in Gen 1513-16
    On no account must Isaac be allowed to marry a Canaanite.   Gen 243,37
    He didn't.
What about Amalek, what had they done?
    Amalek attacked the Hebrews as God rescued them out of Egypt.
    They first attacked those at the back; i.e. the old and the young. 1Sam 152
    Then they fought Joshua, while Moses prayed.
    God wants us to know it was a major spiritual battle that raged for 5 centuries.
          Joshua prevailed; but it was not the end of the story.
Samuel instructs Saul to punish the Amalekites and spare none.   1Sam 153, 18
Saul is disobedient. Spares king Agag and best animals.
    Therefore Samuels tells him, the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel.
    ... And the Lord was grieved he had made Saul king over Israel.   1Sam 1526,35
David and finally Hezekiah complete the job.   2Sam 812 1Ch 443
What about Jerusalem when the people of Judea turned to idols?
For 40 years Jeremiah, that great, faithful prophet wept for Jerusalem.
    As his Master would later also weep at their stubbornness.
Again and again Jeremiah pleaded,
    he warned them to turn away from their idols.
    They took no notice.
He warned them that God would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple.
He even arranged for Nebuchadnezzar to take away two groups into exile.
    Daniel in 605, Ezekiel in 596.
In distant Babylon, Ezekiel saw the Spirit of God leaving the Temple.   Ezek 8, 10
    But no one cared. No one even noticed his leaving.
    Today we are so proud of St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
          How many have noticed the Spirit of God leaving ?!
          We care for our nation's heritage, but not a fig for the Lord Almighty!
In Babylon, God has an amazing message for Ezekiel.   Ezek 24
    It's 588 the first day of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
    Ezekiel, God said, your wife, the delight of your eyes, is going to die -
          But you are not to weep or mourn!
          What a message. What was God doing?
    Men of Judah, Jerusalem, your beloved city and my Temple will be destroyed.
          And I, your God, the Lord Almighty, will not weep!
          Indeed I have instructed Nebuchadnezzar to do it. He is obeying me.
    That evening Ezekiel's wife died.
          And Ezekiel obeyed God. I don't know how, but he did.
          And the people understood the wordless sermon.
18 months later Jerusalem was in ruins, not a stone was left standing on another.
But God in his mercy left a remnant - as slaves in Babylon!
    Faithful to his promise to Abraham
          that through him all nations would be blest.
    At the right time, the Son of God, the mighty Saviour
          would come and bless all nations.   Gen 123
What about today?
    How many nations qualify as Amalek and Canaan?
    Are we as the world was in the days of Noah?
    We are certainly trying God's patience in the extreme.
Has God changed since those days? Not at all.
The question is not so much what God will do, but when he will do it.
    What he will do is clearly written in Math 24, 25 and Rev 6-19
    How would you sum up Math 24?
          Deception, war, disasters, persecution, false prophets,
              unequalled distress, wickedness ...
              and the preaching of the gospel to all nations!
          In Noah's day, no one can say that they were not warned.
    And what about Rev 6 ... ?
          Opens with the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
          1. White - domination
          2. Red - war
          3. Black - scarce food
          4. Pale - disease
    In total 1,500 million die (c.f. 50 million in WW2)
    But note especially that it is God who revealed this would happen
          And it is God who commands each horse to go forth.
    These end-time events are not some extreme demonic activity;
              but Almighty God in action!!
So many think God doesn't do that sort of thing now.
    That's only in the Old Testament.
          And they probably think they are just stories!
    It will surprise many to learn God himself flooded the earth.
    In our day he will order war and disasters on an unprecedented scale.
    He will bring unequalled distress upon his creation.   Math 2421
    Are we ready?
    How can we be prepared for these cataclysmic events?
    Math 2445 - 2546 Jesus tells 4 stories about what men will do
          when the Lord's Coming seems delayed.
The judgement of the Lord Almighty cannot be anything other than just.
    Whether we like it not.
    Whether we understand it or not.
It will all happen precisely because the Sovereign Lord has ordered it.


4. The Unseen War         

We rightly concentrate our minds upon our glorious, gracious and merciful God.
But we need to realise that there is one who plots and conspires for our downfall.
Satan's prime objective is to keep all men from Jesus Christ.
He actually delights to cause men all forms of pain and suffering and grief:
    young men in such a state of despair, that they commit suicide,
    such hate that people go out on a killing spree in schools or as terrorists,
    despots, totally careless of how many die in their thirst for power and wealth,
          depraved men who abuse young boys and girls and ruin their whole lives.
It all thrills this horrible fallen angel who continually wages war against our souls.
It is difficult to see the depths of hatred he has for God and for all his creation.
Our study this morning is to see what our wonderful God does in 3 areas
    to enable his victory in this unseen battle for our souls.
a. Temptations:
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
  1Co 1013

Billy Graham said, "When sin knocks at my door, I ask Jesus to go and open it."
For sin shall not be your master,
    because you are not under law, but under grace.   Ro 614
Not under Law = No longer under condemnation for not keeping the Law.   Ro 81
    Guilt and condemnation are a heavy burden to carry.
Note that Jesus also said,
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  
Math 517
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching,
    (i.e. learn it, trust it, delight in it, obey it) you are really my disciples.
    Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ...
"I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. ...
    So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."   Jn 831-36
C.S.Lewis wrote 'Screwtape Letters' in which a senior devil writes to his nephew Wormwood,
advising him how to keep his subject out the hands of the 'Enemy'.
Two errors: to disbelieve in devils or to take an unhealthy interest in them.
They themselves are equally pleased with either.
Dear Wormwood; So your subject has a materialist friend. Good, but don't let him fall to discussing what is real or true.
You never know where such a conversation might end. Stick to the trivial, the carnal; tell him that is the only thing that is real.
Dear Wormwood; I am very displeased that you have allowed your subject to become a Christian.
But don't despair, remember all his bodily and mental habits are still in our favour. Even church can be good for us.
Fix his eyes on the oddities; the old man who sings out of tune,
the man with an oily grin, and the one with a double chin that wobbles ... all so ridiculous!
Dear Wormwood; Glad to hear you are working on our subject's relationship with his mother.
Magnify at every opportunity the daily annoyances, work hard on the irritating habits and make them unendurable.
And remember if he thinks his new life is only within prayer it will keep him from his ordinary duties and encourage even more anger.
Dear Wormwood; While the subject is praying, keep him thinking about himself, his words, his feelings, his posture.
Sometimes our best work is to keep things out of their minds rather that crowd him with distractions.
Dear Wormwood; So you are thrilled the humans have started another war, with all the death and life-changing injuries,
men filled with anguish, hatred and bewilderment. We must decide whether to make him an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist.
But always remember there are dangers for us in war too. Men can easily turn to the Enemy in their distress.
Contented worldliness has often proved more effective than war. (book written in1941)

(Please note these are not direct quotes but a precis of the first few chapters of The Screwtape Letters)
There will come a day when the war with temptation is over.
A day when we are beyond Satan's reach and not afflicted by any temptations.
Though he is now a defeated enemy - Christ gained a mighty victory at Calvary - yet our enemy is still around.
One day he will be completely banished for ever!
What a day! But meanwhile we must fight on.

b. Disasters:
H.G.Spafford owned a large estate and property in Chicago and had a thriving business. In 1871 the Chicago fire destroyed his property investments. Two years later his wife and 4 daughters sailed to Wales. After colliding with another ship at night in mid-Atlantic, their French liner sank quickly. His rescued wife sent a telegram, "Saved alone". Her husband took the next possible ship to meet his wife. At the spot where the earlier ship went down, the captain stopped. This is the moment when the hymn "It is well with my soul" was born. It was not written by someone returning from Spring Harvest!
In this disaster for the Spafford family, Satan was not allowed any victory.
During the turbulent reign of Henry VIII, the Scriptures were only allowed to be published in Latin or Greek. One mild Oxford scholar was determined that the people of England should be able to read the Bible in English. The Catholic church leaders hated the whole idea. So William Tyndale was forced to flee into exile where he continued his life's work. Betrayed by a supposed friend, he was imprisoned and finally burned at the stake in 1536. Disaster!
But just before they half strangled him and then lit the fire, he cried in a loud voice, "Lord open the king of England's eyes." The Sovereign Lord had planned to do exactly what Tyndale pleaded for. Three years later Henry ordered that Coverdale's 'Great Bible' (that was almost entirely Tyndale's translation) was to be placed in every parish Church in England.
The Lord Almighty again turned disaster into triumph.
Last year Open Doors reckoned that 450 believing Christians are martyred every day. But every day those same 450 people receive a crown in heaven.
Satan tries to sow despair and cause men to give up the battle. But our God is the Lord Almighty. He tells us the truth: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Ro 835-39
c. Success:
We may long for success, but in it's wake often comes:
    Pride, arrogance, loss of compassion, laziness (not alert),
          loss of conscious need for God.
Take great care with your ambitions and hopes.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.
Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
  1Co 126
Jesus looked at the ruler and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  
Lu 1824
How to fight and win!
Eph 6 :
Belt of truth
Breastplate of righteousness
Feet fitted with readiness
Shield of faith
Helmet of salvation
Sword of the Spirit
and ... Be alert.
Faithful prayer
Diligent reading of the Word
Obedient action
Renewal/transformation of the mind.   Ro 12
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
  Mic 718,19

5. Families, Cities, Nations and the World at war         

Men and women have been at war from the beginning.
    From when Cain murdered righteous Abel.
Why do we go on fighting when the cost is so high?
Power, wealth/resources, territory(strategic value), reputation/insult, religion.
    Rarely only one reason; but usually a mix of these.
    e.g. "Ramoth-Gilead is ours ..."   1 Kg 22     Ahab, Jehoshaphat and Micaiah.
Today real reasons are rarely revealed. Gov. 'weasel words' try to justify war.
    e.g. Iraq - terrorism, WMD c.f. oil, base to attack Iran.

Various types of war:
'All-out war' (WWI and II), 'gorilla war' (Maccabees), siege (Jerusalem 587/6),
    Trade war (Arabs boycott Israeli goods), Islamic threat of violence ...

The cost?
Who pays? Everyone. Taxes, lives lost, wounded, families separated.
    But the cost rarely stops war.
    Neither does appeasement. e.g. Israeli 'land for peace'
Necessary preparations for war (defence!) cost the world £500 billion / year.
    Just think what could be done with that!
    Think of the great day when Jesus returns and there is peace at last!

So who gains? How does the 'Profit and Loss' a/c stand?
The victor - sometimes! But after WWII the UK was financially bankrupt.
    During last 60 years UK has rejected God and is now spiritually bankrupt too.
David at the end of his life was able to give 3,400 tons of gold (£42 billion)!
    for the building of the Lord's Temple.   1Ch 1214

Jerusalem - a special case. See history.
    from 1004 BC when David took Jerusalem from the Jebusites to Christ,
          the city changed rulers 17 times!
    from Christ to today it has changed rulers 22 times!

The future? - more war!   Zech 123, 142,3   Rev 1911-21   Math 246,7   Dan 926b

The price of peace with God and man.
1. In WWI 10 million died and 50 million in WWII.
Some bravely laid down their lives, others had their lives taken from them, stolen
    c.f. Jesus - no one took his life.
    He laid it down, a willing sacrifice.   Jn 1014-18

2. Why did these brave men and women forgo their lives?
Some believed they were fighting for a just cause.
Others realized the consequences of surrender - and shuddered.
Why did Jesus give his life?
What would happen to his creation?
Could he live peacefully in heaven while his loved ones were enslaved
          by sin and death on earth?
Could he see them die not just from the wounds of war but eternally?

3. Did they die in vain? No!! Did Jesus die in vain? No!!
My Dad was a pilot who died in 1941 when I was 2. I never knew him.
Mum lived on without him for 60 years in peaceful England.
Because he (and others) died she avoided living under the Nazi tyranny.
In her grief she was grateful to him for that. But then she too died.
    But she died believing in Christ. See Jn 126,27
Jesus did not die in vain.
    Mum was grateful to be welcomed in heaven by the One who died for her.
The cost of war is high. But the cost of sin is greater.
    We have much to be grateful for
Consider also the wounds of war c.f. the wounds (consequences) of sin.
Hebrews 9,10 - Jesus a better, eternal sacrifice.
Priests made daily offerings, year after year - Jesus made one full, perfect, sufficient, preplanned sacrifice once for all.

There will come a day when war shall be no more;
    and none shall rejoice more than I - except Jesus Christ!
          and Melchizedek, king of Salem! king of peace!
Jesus of the Scars - we seek you now.
We must have sight of thorn-marks on your brow,
We must have you, O Jesus of the scars.
The other gods were strong, but you were weak,
They rode, but you did stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God's wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but you alone.      

by Edward Shillito

2,750 years ago Isaiah saw this great day of Jesus Christ.
He saw the cost of war and of sin. And he saw the one and only remedy.
    But he was pierced for our transgressions, ...
          the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
          and by his wounds we are healed.   Is 535

6. War of Words         

Would you rather be deaf or blind?
    Would you prefer a silent world or a dark world?

What would you miss if you were without spoken or written words?
    Friendship, expressing feelings, sharing experiences, learning, history, hopes,
          fears, stories, discoveries, plans, ...
    Anger, lies, deceit, spin, deliberately misleading ½ truths, economy of truth
          false witness, advertising, politics
    And by far the most important - the Truth, God's Word.

Words are sometimes ordinary conversation   or a healthy exchange of God's truth.
But words can also be War! where different factions vie for our minds.
    Often 'Weasel words' - deliberate cunning deceit.
          Sometimes outright lies - no pretence.
          or maybe blatant angry war, verbal violence ...

Some examples of each of these:
"Did God really say ..." Gen 3 - classic Weasel words.
    Once swallowed they quickly led to an outright lie from the 'Father of Lies'.
    "You will not die ..."
    In her innocence, Eve didn't stand a chance against Satan's cunning.
          Her only defence was simply to obey God. But she and Adam chose not to.

The tempter often puts wrong thoughts, wrong words into our minds.
    What do we do about it?
    How quickly do we realise and resist?   1Pe 59   2Co 105

    Do we sometimes realise and not resist? !

Even when we think we are most godly we can still be wrong.   Mk 832
Peter had just declared that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the Living God".
    Then he started telling Jesus he was wrong!!
          He would not have to suffer and be killed. He was the glorious Christ.
    So Jesus had to rebuke Peter in this war of words.
          Peter did not realise what he was saying any more than Eve did.

Our minds still need further transformation.   Ro 122

Consider some conversations with Jesus:

Satan in the wilderness.   Lu 41-13

Woman at the Samaritan well.   Jn 4   Satan lost his grip on this lady.

With Jews who thought they were children of Abraham.   Jn 831-59
    Jesus had to tell them they were of Satan, the 'father of lies'.   Jn 8   Is 5417

At Transfiguration.   Lu 928-36

Repent or Perish.   Lu 131-5

Rich ruler.   Lu 1818-30

By what authority...   Lu 201-8

Other 'conversations':

Stephen before Sanhedrin.   Act 71-60

Sennacherib challenges Hezekiah - and God!   Is 36,37

Nebuchadnezzar makes demands and he too challenges God. Dan 3

Tyndale. This was an epic war of words, a battle for the Word of God in English.
    Fiercely resisted by Roman church. Who won?

Math 244,11,24 Beware of being deceived by words - false prophets.
    What is best defence? Alert, know all the Word of God.

2Pe 3 In the last days scoffers will come and try to ridicule the Word of God.
    Ridicule God's creation and ridicule God's judgement of flood in Noah's day.
They will appear to win this war of words. Evolution is now taught as truth.
They say God, if he exists, is just a benevolent old man who supports the weak!
But in the end they lose the war in a big way at the return of King Jesus.

Jesus is the Truth. He cannot be destroyed, he is the Lord Almighty, King of kings.
He declared,   "Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away."   Lu 2133
But war, and this war of words will continue to the end.

May the words of my lips and the meditation of my heart
be always acceptable to you my Rock and my Redeemer.   Ps 1914

7. Three End-time Wars    Rev 6, 19, 20         

These 3 wars are the only wars that end all wars. Behold the Lamb!

What happens?
1. Four Horsemen.   Rev 61-8
Commanded by God to bring domination, war, famine and sickness to world.
Part of process of opening the Scroll - the Book of Life, the will of Jesus.
    Only the Lamb of God who was slain can open it.   Rev 5
Wickedness will be so great that as in Noah's day God has to destroy the world.
    In his amazing grace he gives 7 years of just warnings.
    All exactly as prophesied. But no one takes any notice.
    God is angry. And rightly so.
          Men are so arrogant. So God-rejecting.
          Major intrigue.   Dan 719, 23-27 819, 23-26
    e.g. 1948 UN voted for Israel to become a nation.
          All leaders knew Arabs would immediately attack
          They had supplied Arabs with arms but forbade any supply to the Jews.
          Montgomery gave the Jews an absolute max of 3 weeks.
          God intervened.
          For 68 years world nations have done their best to destroy Israel.
              So called 'Peace deals' always weaken Israel.
          God has plans too. And his plans will triumph.
Many fail to understand Revelation and last days
    because they do not understand God's faithful plan for his Chosen people.
End times do not centre in London, Moscow, Washington, or even Tehran.
    God's capital remains Jerusalem.

2. After the 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls of Wrath, (Great Tribulation)
The One World Leader, the Beast described in Rev 13 and Dan 7,8
    will attack Jerusalem.
The result is described in Zech 121 -132 141-5   Joel 31-3 and Rev 1917-21
Jesus returns in power. 'Faithful and True', 'The Word of God', 'King of kings'.
    He rides in triumph to defend Israel and Jerusalem
The Beast, the False Prophet are cast into Hell.
Satan is bound and sealed in the Abyss.

3. There follows 1000 years when Jesus reigns on earth.
Then God releases Satan from the Abyss. Why ? Not revealed!
He raises a deceived 'Gog / Magog' army that attacks King Jesus.
Destroyed by fire from heaven and sent to Hell to join Beast and False Prophet.
Saints are welcomed into new heaven and new earth. No sin and no more war.

Summary of the Last Days

This is NOT an attempt to proclaim precisely when the end will come. For No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Math 2436,42 2513 Yet we are told to keep watch and eagerly expect the return of Jesus Christ. He has given us a surprising amount of detail concerning the signs of his coming. i.e. all the accurate tribulation prophecies. Today there is considerable variance about the order of events; most of which arises because men wish to distort the Scripture to make it fit their own preconceived plan. The following is the simple order given in Revelation - why change it?

a)   Jesus orders the Tribulation - warnings and justice for 7 years.   Dan 927

First 3½ years.   Rev 6-9
7 Seals and 7 Trumpets
Starts with 4 Horsemen
1/4 of world population die in war!   Rev 68
1/3 of world population die in plague!   Rev 915,18
    Total = 3,000 million
Demons abound

Second 3½ years.  Rev 13,16
Beast and False Prophet reign
God blasphemed
Intense persecution
7 Bowls of God's wrath
Men curse God
Fall of Babylon, earth mourns, saints rejoice
Finally all nations attack Jerusalem.

This period of 7 years sees increasing wickedness, war, lawlessness
    2 Thes 21-17   Math 246-8,12   Rom 124-32
The saints warned and enabled to endure.   Joel 228
    Dan721 725 824 926b 121 127b   Math 249,21
    Rev 611 137 1310b 1412 1813 1824
Daniel deeply grieved when shown these days.
    Dan 728 827 102
Jesus warns us about being deceived.
    Math 244, 11, 24   Rev 133, 14 1920b
Follow his example.   Heb 122,3   Math 1024-33
At the end Jews will call on the name of the Lord.
    All Israel will be saved.   Ro 1126   Jer 307 319a, 31-34

b)   Jesus Returns.   Rev 1911 - 203  
Jesus returns to defend Jerusalem.   Zech 141-5
(Rapture ? 1 Thes 415-18   Not mentioned in Rev)
Men will be surprised by return of Jesus
Saints are expecting and longing for him.
Beast + False Prophet defeated, thrown into Hell by Jesus
Satan is bound, and locked in Abyss

c)   Jesus Reigns on earth for 1000 years.   Rev 204-10
Tribulation martyrs reign with Christ
1000 years of peace like world has never known.   Ezek 3721-28 3811
At the end of 1000 years Satan is released.
Gog Magog battle.   also Ezek 38,39
Satan defeated by fire of God.   Ezek 396   2Pe 37
      Thrown into Hell
      Joins Beast and False Prophet in Hell.

d)   Judgement Day.   Rev 2011-15
Book of Life determines destiny
Other books our reward.   1 Co 311-15
Unbelievers thrown into Hell

e)   New Heaven and New Earth.   Rev 20,21
A new order for all Eternity
Marriage of the Lamb
Righteousness, truth, love and joy beyond our imagination

Remember - God always keeps his Word.   Lu 2133