THE FINAL CONFLICT
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
• Write the Key Verse from memory.
• Summarize the events leading to the final conflict.
• Describe the final conflict.
• Describe the final destiny of Satan and the spiritual forces of evil.
KEY VERSE FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:
And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and
brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)
As you learned in this course, final judgment upon Satan was already pronounced by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it is not until Jesus returns to earth that this judgment will be totally fulfilled.
This chapter focuses on the final conflict, that last great spiritual battle which will defeat all the forces of evil. This last great conflict will result in the crowning of Jesus as King of kings, the
establishment of the Kingdom of God in its visible form, and final judgment of the spiritual
forces of evil.
EVENTS PRECEDING THE FINAL CONFLICT
Here are the major events that will precede the final conflict:
THE RETURN OF JESUS:
The Bible teaches that the Lord will return to earth for believers. Jesus promised His followers:
…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)
This return of Jesus for believers is also called the "rapture." Details about the return of Jesus for believers are given in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. These verses indicate:
• Jesus Himself will return (verse 16).
• There will be a resurrection from the grave of those who were believers when
they died (verse 16).
• There will be a "rapture," which means "the act of taking a person from one
place to another." Living believers will be taken from earth to meet Christ (verse
• There will be a reunion between believers who have previously died, believers
living at the time of Christ’s return, and the Lord Jesus Christ (verse 17).
Some people believe the rapture will occur before the tribulation and that believers will not have to experience any of this terrible time on earth. Others believe the rapture will happen midway through this period. Still others believe the rapture will happen at the end of the tribulation. The most common belief is that the rapture of believers will happen before the tribulation period begins. The different views of the timing of the rapture result from various interpretations of the prophetic portions of Scripture. What is most important is to know you are a true believer and ready to go with Jesus in the rapture whenever it does occur.
No man can know the exact time of this great event:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)
Although no man knows the exact timing of the rapture, Jesus did identify some prophetic signs that will indicate when the time is near. You can read about these in Matthew 24.
The Bible tells of a terrible time on earth which is called the tribulation during which the spiritual
forces of evil will be more active than ever in the history of the world. Satan will set up his unholy Trinity, the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 13; 16:13-14). Through "spiritual wickedness in high places" they will do signs, wonders, and deceive many. They will seek worship and condemn men with a special mark of ownership.
The tribulation will last for 42 months or 1,260 days. (Daniel 9:24-27). It will be a very difficult time. There have been many difficult times in the world before, but three things will distinguish the tribulation from all other times of trouble:
1. It will be worldwide, not just local:
…I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world…(Revelation 3:10)
2. People will realize the end of the world is near:
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:16-17)
3. The intensity of the trouble will be greater than ever before experienced:
There are a series of judgments from God which will come on the earth during the tribulation
period. These judgments are described in Revelation chapters 6, 8-9, and 16 and in Matthew
24:4-14. The reason for these judgments is that the world must be punished for sin and rejection
The Millennium is a period of 1,000 years after the tribulation during which Jesus will rule the earth in righteousness:
And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one. (Zechariah 14:9)
The city of Jerusalem will be the center of government:
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills: and all nations shall flow unto it.
…for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3)
Before the start of and during this Millennial period Satan and his evil forces will be bound. A great war will occur on earth and…
…the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20)
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years
should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season.
THE FINAL CONFLICT
After the thousand years, the final conflict with Satan will occur:
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth…to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city (Jerusalem)…(Revelation 20:7-9)
God will send fire from Heaven and end all opposition of the forces of evil:
…and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:9)
The reason for this final battle is that Satan must at last be defeated and Jesus acknowledged as Lord of all. This completes God’s plan of the ages:
Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself;
That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him. (Ephesians 1:9-10)
This is the final battle in the spiritual warfare that has raged from the rebellion of Satan down through the history of the world.
SATAN’S FINAL DESTINY
The final destiny of the trinity of Satan is the lake of fire:
And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and
brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)
The demonic angels of Satan will also be cast into the lake of fire:
Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.
Demons themselves recognize their own final destiny. In Matthew 8 when Jesus went into the country of the Gergesenes, he met two demon possessed men they cried out to Jesus saying…
…What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Matthew 8:29)
All created beings will be judged by God. This is known as the time of eternal judgment. Those who died as unbelievers will be resurrected to face judgment. Because they did not repent from sin and accept Jesus as Savior they will be condemned to eternity in Hell:
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books,
according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man
according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-15)
True believers who repented from sin and accepted Jesus as Savior will spend eternity in Heaven in the presence of God (Revelation 21).
The great spiritual battle will be over!
And there was given Him (Jesus) dominion, and glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)
VICTORY IN THE SPIRIT WORLD
This chapter concludes this course on spiritual warfare. In reality, you will never stop studying and learning about this subject. Just as a soldier in the natural world, you will continue to
develop your skills and strategies as you battle with the enemy.
As we close this study, we want to assure you that you can be victorious over all the power of
enemy and in every battle of life. Just remember…
• Your victory in warfare is assured, because it is not dependent upon YOU…It is
dependent upon God:
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. (Psalms 24:8)
• You are protected by God as you battle:
O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. (Psalms 140:7)
• When you are discouraged, you are comforted by God in battle:
For when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side: without were fightings, within were fears.
Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us… (II Corinthians 7:5-6)
• God will encourage you in the midst of your warfare:
Fear not, nor be afraid (in the coming violent upheavals); have I not told it to you from of old and declared it?…(Isaiah 44:8 The Amplified Version)
For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:13)
I, even I, am He that comforteth you; who art thou, that thou shouldest by afraid of a man that shall die, and the son of man which shall be made as grass. (Isaiah 51:12)
• No weapon formed against you will succeed:
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper… (Isaiah 54:17)
• Victory can be attained over the world:
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (I John 5:4-5)
• Victory can be attained over the flesh:
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)
• Victory can be attained over the Devil:
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly… (Romans 16:20)
• Victory can be attained over death and the grave:
I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death… (Hosea 13:14)
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (I Corinthians 15:26, 55)
He will swallow up death in victory… (Isaiah 25:8)
• Victory can be attained over ALL that exalts itself against God:
…bringing into captivity every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God…(II Corinthians 10:5)
• Victory can be attained over ALL the powers of the enemy:
Behold, I give unto you power…over all the power of the enemy… (Luke 10:19)
• Always remember to thank God for victory in battle through Jesus Christ:
But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:57)
• And when the battle is over, you will stand victorious:
So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.
(Ephesians 6:13, Living Bible)