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Chapter 6:  The Church and the Great Adversary

As the title of this Book states it to be "The History..." it is necessarily associated with a particular time period, which in the case of the present work is 'the next 25 years.'  Focusing on a time frame of this nature in comparison to the history of mankind is like looking at one frame in a long movie.  Though this work is intended to lay out in clear detail the events soon to transpire as described in the Word of God, the Prominent Entities of this time have long histories that have culminated in their current influence and effect.  Though great effort will be made to convey the critical knowledge of these end time events, a complete understanding and appreciation of the information given in this present work will require the reader to research and prove these things and to 'catch up' with the flow of past events that have led to the present condition.  It is not within the scope of this work to include this necessary background knowledge; however there have been many works and writings the author will recommend as they become appropriate.  This and the next few chapters will briefly introduce and describe the Prominent Entities of the end time.


The Church of God


The purpose for this present work of warning is to turn men back to seeking God with their whole hearts and thereby coming under the protection afforded by God from the truly awful events soon to unfold.  It is needful then to give understanding about God's Church.  The Church will be a prominent entity in the events ahead, as Christ said in Matthew 24: 14  "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."  He then commissioned the Church to do the work of taking the gospel to the world in Mark 16: 15  "And he said unto them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be condemned."  So we see how imperative it is to know exactly what that gospel is.  There are many false gospels in the world.  Do You Believe the True Gospel? 


In Matt. 16: 15-18 the Bible describes a discussion of Jesus and his disciples: "15.  He said unto them, 'But who do you say that I am?'  16. And Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the son of the living God.'  17.  And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven.  18. And I say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."


There are three Greek words that are translated in various places as hell in the English versions.  The one used in verse 18 above is Hades meaning the grave.  Christ was saying that the church He was founding on Himself would never die out.  That means that somewhere on this earth the church that Jesus founded still exists!


But wait!  Didn't Christ say that He would build His church on Peter?  There is a great church existing today that makes the claim that it was founded on Peter!!  We will discuss that church in another chapter.


There is much to be understood about the church from these verses.  In verse 18 there is a play on words that does not show up in the English version that most people have.  In the Original Greek the word for 'Peter' is petros meaning 'a piece of a rock or a small stone' whereas the word translated 'rock' is Petra meaning 'a massive rock'.


Christ was saying that Peter was a smaller stone but Christ would build His Church on a massive Rock referring to Himself.  (See Matt. 7: 24-25)


Many have said that Christ was saying that he would build His Church on Peter.  But is this what Peter himself understood?  Read Peter's own words in I Peter 2: 6-7  "Wherefore also it is contained in scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded.  7. Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious: but unto them which are disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,"


It sounds like Peter understood very well who Christ was referring to as the Rock upon which He would build his church.  Compare Peter's words in Acts 4: 10-12  "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him does this man stand before you whole.  11.  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  12.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."


So, according to Christ's own words, the Church that He founded is still functioning and alive today!!


What is the Church?  A simple definition might be given as the followers of Christ.  There is much more to it than that.  Let's go through what your Bible gives as descriptions.


Jesus Christ is the foundation of the church.  I Corinthians 3: 11  "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."  We have already seen the scriptures above that speak of Him being the Rock on which the Church is founded, and the Chief Cornerstone.  This 'building' then has the further foundation of the Apostles and Prophets and grows into the "household of God"  Eph. 2: 19-20


Most of us have heard people say, "I believe there are many paths to God."  Many believe that 'good people' of any religion will be saved.  The Bible says otherwise.


Acts 4: 12  "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."


Isaiah 43: 11  "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior."


Hosea 13: 4  "Yet I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt ... for there is no savior beside me."


John 14: 6  "Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me."


The Bible is very bold and straightforward with these statements.


Jesus Christ is also the Head of the Church.  Colossians 1: 18  "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." 


There are several metaphors given in God's Word to describe the Church.  Christ describes it as a vine in John 15: 1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  2.  Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit."  NOTE:  A branch of the church that doesn't bear fruit will be cut off by the Father.


John 15: 5  "I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.  6.  If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  7.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you."

NOTE:  A branch of the church that doesn't abide in the Word of God will be cast off.


John 15: 10  "If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."

NOTE:  Branches of the Church will be keeping God's Commandments.


These three things are vital to staying part of God's Church:

1.  Keep His Commandments

2.  Abide in Him and His Word

3.  Bear Fruit


Paul describes the Church as The Body of Christ.  Colossians 1: 18  "And he is the head of the body, the church:"  I Cor. 12: 12-14  "For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body: so also is Christ.  13. For by one Spirit are we baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  14. For the body is not one member, but many."  I Corinthians 12: 27  "Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular."


In the above verses we see that a member of the Church will have the Spirit of God.  We see this confirmed in Romans 8: 9  "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."


Christ described His followers in Luke 12: 32  "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give to you the kingdom."  It will be vital for any who will seek protection by God from the events of the Great Tribulation to find and become part of the True Church that Jesus Christ founded.


For the scope of this present work the Author recommends Where is God's True Church Today by Roderick C. Meredith.  An Excerpt from the beginning topic of this booklet reads:


"This church is not a building or a corporation or an invention of human beings.  It is a spiritual organism with a history going right back to Jesus Christ and the apostles.  It is a very small church- the "little flock" described by Jesus Christ (Luke 12: 32) - but it has always existed since the time of Christ and will exist at the end of the age when its faithful members are taken to a "place of safety" (see Revelation 12) before the Great Tribulation actually begins."



The Great Adversary


There will be no greater evil role in the awful events ahead than that of the Great Adversary.  This being has made himself the Adversary of God as his name Satan the Devil means, and he hates God's plan and God's people.  This is the being that possessed Herod the Great to kill all the male children from two years and under in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill God's Son, Jesus Christ.  This is the being that possessed Judas to betray Christ to crucifixion.  This is the being "called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world." Revelation 12: 9  Did you get that?  Your Bible says that this being has deceived the whole world!


There is an amazing prophecy in Revelation 12 which shows the historical warfare this being has waged against God's True Church, the pervasive extent of his deception, the 1260 years of the True Church fleeing to the wilderness, Satan instigating a final war in heaven and being cast out, his intense persecution of the True Church, the zealous members of the true church being taken to a place of safety just before the Great Tribulation, and the continuing warfare of Satan against the 'remnant of her seed'.


It would be helpful for the reader to have an understanding of the history of the True Church.  The prophecies of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 show this church will go through seven eras from its founding to the return of Christ.  We are now in the seventh era.  There are yet remnants of four eras

existing today.


Lets look at the prophecies (some of which are now history) of Revelation 12.


Vrs. 1  "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:"  The woman pictured here represents Israel of old with its twelve tribes.)


Vrs. 2  "And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."  This is picturing the imminent birth of Christ the Messiah.


Vrs. 3  "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns."  This is picturing Satan and the governments he influences and controls.


Vrs. 4  "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born."  This is picturing the possessing of Herod the Great to attempt to kill Jesus as a child in Bethlehem, and the continuing tempting during His life on earth to sin, and on through the possessing of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus for crucifixion.)


Vrs. 5  "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."  The birth of Christ continuing through His ascension to Heaven and seating on the Right Hand of God.


These first five verses were history when the prophecy of Revelation was given to John approximately 93 AD.  The remaining were prophecy when they were written.  Some of these are now also history.


Rev. 12: 6  "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days."


The woman is now the True Church that Jesus founded.  Satan has stirred up persecution and inquisition and martyrdom against God's church from its founding in continuing attempts to destroy it from the face of the earth.  Satan has not succeeded to extinguish the Church of God as Christ's prophecy promised, "The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it" but he has succeeded in persecuting, and causing divisions that have grown into different branches of the church.  Only the very few have remained faithful to God's Word.  Many branches have turned apostate and have been cut off from the true vine.  The 1260 days in this verse equal 1260 years.  (a day in prophetic terms equals a year)  The True Church underwent ten years of severe persecution and martyrdom by the Roman Empire, in an attempt to annihilate it in the early part of the 4th Century AD.  The True Church fled to places outside the borders of the Roman Empire and there continued for the next 1260 years.  Another Great Church appears in history and begins its control of the Holy Roman Empire at the same time that the True Church fled 'into the wilderness'.  We will discuss that church in a later chapter as another Prominent Entity of the end time.


The author here recommends God's Church Through the Ages by John H. Ogwyn obtainable at free of charge.


Rev. 12: 7-8  Tells us just how much of an adversary Satan really is.  "And there was war in heaven:

Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8.  and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven."


God doesn't give us a lot of detail about this war.  Men probably can not imagine what a spirit war is like.  We do not know when this war starts or its duration but its conclusion marks the Greatest Catalyst Event for the evil of the end time.


Satan Cast Out of Heaven


Rev. 12: 9-11  "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  10.  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  11.  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."


Rev. 12: 12  "Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them.  Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down to you having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.


Immediate Severe Persecution of the Church


Rev. 12: 13  "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child."


The remaining verses describe the Church fleeing to a Place of Safety.  We will address that topic in Chapter 10: Survival and The Big Picture.


The Great Adversary will soon attack with a ferocity mankind has never seen!!

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