Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Two Kingdoms

Leslie Basham: The scope of history tells us about a battle between two kingdoms. Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: God’s is a kingdom of supreme love, but Satan’s is a kingdom of hatred and self-love. This is a war where there is constant attack and counter-attack. Attack and counter-attack. One makes his move, then the other makes his.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, December 27th. What images come to mind when you think of the birth of Christ? A stable, a manger, some shepherds, maybe Silent Night playing in the background? Did you realize that the birth of Christ represents the turning point in the great cosmic battle?

Today we’re joining Nancy Leigh DeMoss as she speaks about the battle for worship. The audio will sound a little different today because she was speaking at a women’s conference. Let’s join her for a message called, The King Still Has One More Move.

Nancy: How many of you in some area or realm or relationship of your life there’s a battle going on and you’re going back to face some sort of battle? Let me just see your hands. Well, I’m glad to see those hands because it tells me we need what God has put on my heart to share this morning.

Let me ask you to turn in your Bible to the last book of the Bible, Revelation, chapter 12.  As you’re turning there, let me just remind us that we are living in the midst of a great, eternal, cosmic drama. It’s not about us. It’s a much bigger picture. We tend to lose sight of the big picture, and that’s when we get overwhelmed by our own battles.

Yes, we are in a battle, but the battle is far bigger than most of us realize. There’s a war. There’s a drama. There’s a battle being enacted in our world today. I don’t know that there’s any chapter of the Bible that gives a more concise overview of that battle and of that plot than Revelation chapter 12.

Now, we’re going to see that there are three main characters in this passage and in this battle. The first one you’ll see in verse one. I’m going to read the passage in a moment, but let me just give you a little preview here. In verse one you see that there is a woman. We will see that also she has a seed. She has descendants. So one player in the battle is the woman and her seed.

Then you go down to verse three and you see that there is a great, fiery red dragon. We’ll see that the dragon has his followers. He has angels. So we have the woman and her seed. We have the dragon and his angels.

Then we come to verse five and we see that the woman bears a male child with a capital “C” because the child is Christ Jesus. The child, the Son, born of the virgin, born of the woman, and He comes with His heavenly army.

We have the woman and her seed. We have the dragon and his angels (followers) and we have the Son, the child of the woman, and His heavenly army, His heavenly hosts.

Now, I want to read beginning in verse one, and would you—as we have stood already in the presence of the Lord—but as we honor the Word of God, would you just join me again in standing for the reading of the Scripture.

Revelation chapter 12, verse 1:

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. . .  And war broke out in heaven (verses 1-7).

Now, we’ve seen earlier in the book of Revelation the worship of heaven. But now we see that there is not only worship in heaven, there is for a time war in heaven. Not the picture we usually imagine. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out.

Now the dragon is identified as that serpent of old called the devil and Satan who deceives the whole world. He was cast where? To the earth. Right here. Right where we live. And his angels were cast out with him.

Verse 10:

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (verses 10-12).

Verse 17:

And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Father, would you open our eyes to see what you showed Elisha’s servant that day when he woke up and saw that the town was surrounded by the Syrian hosts, the chariots, the soldiers, and he was terrified. And how Elijah said, “O, Lord open his eyes so he can see what’s really going on here.” When his eyes were opened, he saw that the hills around the city were filled with the chariots of God. Chariots of fire, the angel hosts of heaven, the armies of the Most High God, El Elyon.

So help us, God, though our town, our home, our workplace, our lives may be surrounded by the forces of hell who have been cast down to this earth and have purposed to persecute the woman and her seed, who are enraged against the woman and her seed.

Help us to see with eyes of faith what’s really going on and that they cannot touch us because we are surrounded by heavenly hosts that have overcome and are overcoming and will forever overcome and that we may by faith overcome them by the blood of the Lamb. By the word of our testimony, help us to see and believe and walk victoriously in that faith. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

We see in this passage that there is war between the devil, the dragon, and his angels, and between the hosts of God, led by Michael. We see that there is also war on earth. War between the dragon and the woman and her seed. In fact, the verse I didn’t read, verse 13, says, “When the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.”

There is war in heaven and there is war on earth. The battles that we face here on earth are really just a visual reminder of what’s going on and has gone on and will go on in heaven. This is just a microcosm here of what is taking place in the heavenlies. There are eight references to war in the book of Revelation.

In fact, I have just this morning finished the book of Revelation, finished another journey through the Scripture, and what a journey it is! Beginning in the first chapters of the book of Genesis and through the book of Revelation. I’m going to try in the next moments to give you an overview of the whole story—the big picture.

I won’t read the whole thing. Don’t worry. We’ll get you out of here today by 10:15, I think is what we were told. I think that’s Pacific time. Is that right? (Laughter)

But as I have re-read again this past week the story of Revelation, the last chapter, the consummation of this drama, I think one title we could give to the book of Revelation—and to the whole Bible—is war and worship. War and worship. Go through the book of Revelation and circle the references to war and then circle the references to worship. We’re going to expand on those in just a few moments.

But I want us to see that this war has been going on for centuries—for at least 6,000 years. It’s not a new battle. The Bible tells us the story of that conflict. It tells us how it began and how it will end, and where we fit in to the picture.

Now, the story begins back in the very first verse of the Bible: Genesis chapter 1, verse 1. Say it with me, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In the beginning. Not in God’s beginning, for He was in eternity past. But in the beginning, when God decided that time should begin, God was already there. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

We see here a god, Elohim, the almighty, sovereign God who is the creator, the controller, the Lord over all of creation. He is the center of the universe. We see Him creating the heavens and the earth for His pleasure—for a single purpose that all things on heaven and on earth should worship Him.

All glory was His. All power was His. All authority is His. All was created by Him and for Him. He created the angels. He created man. All with a single purpose: to worship; to give Him glory; to give Him honor.

Now you know that one of those created beings in heaven, one of those angels, was named Lucifer. The name Lucifer means “light bearer.” It means “shining one,” “morning star.” It speaks of brightness, of brilliance, of light.

Now we know that Lucifer had no light of his own any more than the moon has its own light. The moon really reflects the light of the sun. Lucifer had no light of his own. We have no light of our own. He was created to reflect the glory of God. He was a light bearer. He was to be in the presence of God and then reflect in heaven the glory, the beauty, the wonder, the splendor of God.

Ezekiel chapter 28, tells us that Lucifer was the anointed cherub of heaven. This suggests to us that perhaps he was the leader, or one of the leaders, of the worship of heaven. By the way, if you have any role in your church in leading worship or in a Bible study group or being a part of a worship team, can I say that that is an awesome responsibility.

Oh, how grievous I think it must be to the heart of God today to have so many of us on the platform in teaching and music and leading and worship roles not reflecting His light and His glory but projecting our own, seeking glory for ourselves. Oh how foolish, for we have no light of our own.

Scripture says that this anointed cherub, the leader of the worship of heaven one day got “I” trouble. He decided he wanted some of that worship for himself. He wanted to share the glory. He became guilty of the sin of arrogance and pride. Could I suggest that you and I are never more like Satan than when we are seeking glory for ourselves, than when we are walking in pride and seeking a reputation and a name for ourselves.

Isaiah chapter 14 describes for us both the self-exaltation and the fall of Lucifer, the anointed cherub. Isaiah chapter 14, verse 12:

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you said in your heart [and how many times have I said it in my heart?]: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, on the farthest sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”

God will not be equaled by anyone. Not by Lucifer. Not by you. And not by me.

The next verse says, “Yet you shall be brought down.” Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord for God resists the proud but He gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves. In due time God will lift you up as you lift Him up. “You shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”

In his rebellion, as we just read in Revelation chapter 12, Lucifer took with him one-third of the angels of heaven. He mounted an insurrection, and he got a third of the angels of heaven to join him in that rebellion. At that point Satan became the relentless enemy of God. From that point to this, there has been an incessant cosmic warfare between God and Satan.

We have here two opposing kingdoms: one reigning King who has never left His throne and one would-be king who is determined to unseat God on His throne. Their weapons are exactly the opposite of each other. The way they do their warfare is exactly the opposite. God is the God and His kingdom is a kingdom of light, but Satan’s is a kingdom of darkness. God’s is a kingdom of righteousness. Satan’s is a kingdom of evil.

God’s is a kingdom where submission is the ultimate weapon, but Satan deals with the weapon of rebellion. God’s is a kingdom of order. Satan’s is a kingdom of chaos. God’s is a kingdom of life, and Satan’s is a kingdom of death. God’s is a kingdom of hope. Satan’s is a kingdom of despair.

God’s is a kingdom of truth, but as we just read in Revelation chapter 12, Satan is a master of deception. He deceives the whole world. God’s is a kingdom of supreme love, but Satan’s is a kingdom of hatred and self-love.

This is a war where there is constant attack and counter-attack. Attack and counter-attack. One makes his move, then the other makes his.

The story is told of two men who went into a museum in Russia where there hangs a painting called “Checkmate.” The painting is of two chess masters sitting at a table around a chess board, and the title of the painting is “Checkmate.” As the two men went into the museum, it was discovered that one was a chess lover. He enjoyed playing chess and he knew a little bit about the game. He found himself standing underneath that painting examining it carefully.

Now for those of you who may not be in to chess, in the game of chess, there’s constant attack and counter-attack. One player makes his move. The other player makes his move. Then the first player makes his move, and then there’s counter-attack.

The game is played with the object of capturing your opponent’s king. When you have made your moves and backed the opponent’s king into a corner where he cannot make one more move, then you cry out, “Checkmate!” That means the game’s over. The king cannot make another move.

Well, as these two men stood underneath that painting, the one who knew something about the game of chess studied this painting intently. He was just intrigued by it. He was looking at the chessboard. He stood and he stared and he thought and he contemplated.

His friend who didn’t know anything about chess was a little bored by this exercise and tried to get the chess lover to move on to the next painting so they could get through the museum. But the chess player said, “No, just a minute. Something’s wrong.” And his eyes lit up with understanding as he said, “The game’s not over. The king still has one more move.”

You see as he scrutinized that chessboard knowing the game of chess, he realized that there was another move that the king could make, that the painting was misnamed. It was not really checkmate, for the king still had one more move.

Time and time again, Satan has thought that he had backed God into a corner and that the King had made his final move. Time and time again, Satan has declared toward God, shaking his fist toward the throne of God, “Checkmate! Gottcha this time. Game’s over.” But every time the King says, “Not so fast. The game’s not over, Satan. I’ve still got one more move.”

You see that attack and counter-attack all the way through the pages of Scripture.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been opening our eyes to the great cosmic battle that has been waged from the beginning of time. It’s a battle we’re participating in even today, choosing either war or worship.

This is a unique message that will give you an overview of the Bible, showing how all the stories relate to one another. We’re breaking the message up and bringing it to you over the course of three days, but you can hear it unedited in it’s complete original form by ordering the message on CD. It’s called, The King Still Has One More Move. You can order it at our content-rich website, ReviveOurHearts.com.

With a new year just around the corner, Nancy, you have a special word for our listeners.

Nancy: Well, can you believe we’ve almost come to the end of 2006? No matter what you may have faced this past year, I’m sure you’d agree with me that we’ve all been the beneficiaries of rich blessings from God—too many to count, in fact.

I have to tell you that one of the greatest joys of my life is to give financially to those who have ministered spiritually to me. So I want to encourage you during the last few days of this year to take some time to do the same thing yourself. Then ask the Lord, “Would you want me to make a financial investment in that person or that ministry?” Maybe it’s a special gift to your pastor or your local church. In fact, I trust that you’re giving on a regular basis to your local church.

But maybe there’s a special gift here at the end of the year that you’d want to give as an expression of your gratitude. If the Lord has used Revive Our Hearts to minister to you or to your family in a particular way this past year, would you take a moment to let us know? If the Lord directs you to enclose a financial gift, we’d be so grateful, especially right now at year-end.

Those gifts are so important for us to be able to go into the new year with all our bills paid and knowing that we can continue this ministry, not only in your area, but in hundreds of other communities around the country. When you contact us, be sure and let us know the call letters for the station on which you listen to Revive Our Hearts.

Thanks so much for your friendship, your encouragement, and your support throughout this past year. I pray that in the coming year, you will experience God’s richest blessing and encouragement in your life.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. Remember, we are a listener-supported ministry. That means everything you hear is the result of the prayers and the financial support of our listeners. When you make a year-end donation, we want to show you our gratitude by sending A Heart at Rest. That’s the name of a calendar designed exclusively for Revive Our Hearts. You can’t find it in stores at this time because we’ve reserved it for our listeners.

Each day has it’s own page that includes Scripture and encouraging words from Nancy. You’ll look forward to flipping to a new page every day and seeing what she has to say. Unlike most calendars, you can use this one year after year.

Ask for A Heart at Rest flip calendar when you call with your donation. The number is 1-800-569-5959. It’s easy to donate on line as well. The address is ReviveOurHearts.com. When you make your donation on our website, be sure to check the box indicating you’d like the flip calendar. Or write us at PO Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120.

You heard Nancy mention that the Bible is filled with stories of attack and counter-attack. Tomorrow, she’ll take us through some of those stories and show us how they connect. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the New King James Version.

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