The Coming Great Conflict of the Ages

The Coming Great Conflict of the Ages

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual
hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:12

“And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words
that I speak to you, stand upright, for I have been sent to you.” While he
was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do
do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to under-
stand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard;
and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of
Persia withstood me twenty-one days, and behold Michael, one of the chief
princes came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of
Daniel 10:11-13

“And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the
dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail,
or was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great
dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who
deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were
cast out with him. 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 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 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.”
Revelation 12:7-12

“……but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not
only the earth, but also heaven.”
Hebrews 12:26

A Dream in the Night

On the 2nd of September 2022 Cheryl and I celebrated our golden wedding anniversary. By unusual circumstances Jesus brought us together in marriage 50 years ago and commissioned us to go into the world to serve Him. This by His grace alone we have done and so our ministry has taken us to the towns and cities of South Africa, Israel, the world and to the USA where we now live. It has been quite a journey and through it all we have experienced the amazing grace, provision and faithfulness of God. After a wonderful day of celebrating God’s goodness to us we went to bed and then in the middle of the night I had a remarkable dream. This dream focused on Revelation 12 and the war in heaven and the awful consequences that it will have on the earth. A satanic entity, finally dislodged from its place in the heavens, will come down to the earth with great wrath and this will lead to a time of trouble such as the world has never seen before. This is what I saw in the dream, and I was consequently commissioned to give warning to the Church about this coming time of great darkness and trouble that is shortly to befall Israel, the Church and the world.

A Biblical understanding of wicked entities

In the 6th chapter of Ephesians Paul reminds us that our spiritual conflict is not with flesh and blood but with dark demonic entities in the heavenly places. That is, behind wicked people are unseen demonic powers that have seduced them by their own agreement and will. These evil people are not victims and should not be considered as such, but in dealing with them we have to know that unseen dark powers are working through them. Hitler was a clear example of this; he was not innocent but in fact, by occultic rituals, he had knowingly and willingly surrendered himself to the Devil. This is in fact on record. He, with demonic assistance brought the world to ruin but something more sinister is on the horizon.

Daniel, when praying for his people in exile in Babylon, received an answer from the God of Israel but the way this answer to his prayers came was revealing to say the least. That is, the Archangel Gabriel, always a bringer of good news, eventually came to him but confessed that he had been held up by evil principalities that in fact ruled over the visible kingdoms and empires of the world in unseen places; in this case the Media-Persian empire. To ensure that Gabriel completed his mission the Archangel Michael, that great Prince who watches over Israel and angel of war, came to Gabriel’s aid and subdued the demonic powers resisting his mission. It is to be noted that in the context Daniel was praying about the restoration of Israel to the land of her forefathers after 70 years of exile. This deeply troubled demonic powers and at all costs had to be resisted by them. We will have more to say about this shortly.

It is thus important to note that up until now all demonic power, and even that of the Devil himself, has operated from a heavenly sphere. These evil entities are named by Paul in his Ephesian letter as:

• Principalities
These are regional demonic powers that rule over specific regions of the world.
• Rulers of the darkness of this age
These are demonic spirits that inject evil practices into the world such as abortion and a fascination with things dark and destructive such as sexual perversion, Ouija Boards, Halloween and TV programs for children that glorify dragons, demons and witches etc.
• Hosts of wickedness
These are a vast army, demonic foot soldiers if you will, who carry out all sorts of strategies to ensnare, possess and destroy the lives of people and, if possible, that
of Christians.

According to Paul this is what believers in Jesus are up against and thus have to be constantly vigilant in their walk with Christ. The Apostle Peter also draws our attention to this reality and writes this in his first epistle:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a
roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”
1 Peter 5:8

It must then be noted then that all these wicked and devilish entities have hitherto operated out of the heavenly sphere. In fact, since the throne of God is in the third heaven according to scripture (2 Corinthians 12:1-2) it is safely assumed that the Devil and his evil powers operate from the second heaven, the sky above us being the first. Because of their “aerial view of the world” they have subjugated it and injected it with darkness and evil. It is for this reason that John, the Beloved Apostle, writes that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19) and Jesus affirmed that he is the ruler of this world (John 14:30).

A revelation concerning Israel

There are two passages in the Bible that describe the coming great war in heaven. The one is found in Daniel 12 and the other in Revelation 12. In both cases this cataclysmic upheaval that dislodges the Devil and all his hordes from the heavenlies and brings them down to the earth for a short time, is in the context of a final restoration process that takes place in Israel. This fact brings into focus the strategic importance of Israel to God’s plan of world redemption in that she is the source or fountain from which this heavenly initiative in Christ has been mediated to the world for four thousand years. Consequently, the modern-day restoration of Israel is not a political accident but evidence of the faithfulness of God to His everlasting covenant made with Abraham 4000 years ago.

The coming great conflict of the ages is therefore aimed at liquidating or exterminating the Jewish people. This has been the situation from the very beginning of God’s engagement with her through Abraham. God designated him, and the people that came from him, to be the vehicle of world of redemption and therefore the means by which He would bring His saving purpose in Jesus to the nations (Genesis 12:1-3) (John 4:22). This placed Israel in the gunsights of the Devil and initiated a conflict of huge proportions because the Devil knew that all he had to do in order to frustrate the purpose of God in the world would be to liquidate the Jewish people. This he has set out to do time and time again and God warned Abraham of this when he entered into a solemn Covenant with him. God alone passed through the blood covenant symbols but in doing so allowed Abraham to see a burning torch and a burning oven (Genesis 15:17). The torch symbolizing that through Israel God would bring the revelation of His light, character, word and messiah to the world (Romans 9:1-5). The burning oven a warning that this mission for the redemption of the world from sin and demonic power would plunge the nation into unimaginable horrors, all engineered by the Devil. This has certainly been the testimony of history, and sadly, very literally seen in the ovens of Hitler’s extermination camps.

The message is clear; Israel constitutes the biggest threat to demonic survival as she carries a champion who by His death, burial and resurrection has defeated the Devil and all his hordes. In chapter twelve of John’s Revelation this is exactly what he sees for he is given a vision of a pregnant woman clothed with the Sun, Moon and Twelve Stars. This is a reference to Joseph, his mother, father and eleven brothers (Genesis 37:9-10). The woman then is certainly, and without doubt, Israel but crouching before her is a great fiery Red Dragon who seeks to devour her male-child (Jesus) upon His birth and then to exterminate her (Revelation 12:1-5). Unable to do so, because of the faithfulness of God, he then goes after her “offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17). The “offspring” of Israel is the Church of the living God. Israel is pregnant with Jesus, she brings Him into the world, He is caught up into heaven and then He gives birth to the Church. However, it is important to note that the final great conflict in this regard takes place at a time when there will be war in heaven and the Devil is consequently defeated and thrust down to the earth (Revelation 12:7). That is, he will lose His grip on the world from his aerial position and having come down to the earth, infiltrate humanity, and initiate a final assault on Israel, the Church and the world of horrifying proportions. It is this coming conflict that Jesus has called me to warn you of!

A warning from Jesus

So, as we have seen, for much of church history our conflict has been with demonic entities in heavenly places, but a time is coming when all this will change and these mighty demonic entities, including the Devil, will be forced out of their aerial position in the second heaven and down to the earth. They will then initiate a time of trouble such as has never been seen before. It will be their last attempt to frustrate the plan of God and their target will be Israel and the Church. By way of example, this is much like the battle that raged over Britain in the Second World War, in that the Nazi Luftwaffe, which had enjoyed aerial superiority up until that point, was destroyed by the brave fighter pilots of the RAF. Consequently, in a way, the war was won at that point because thereafter the evil Nazi war machine was forced to pursue the battle only on the land without aerial protection. This they did with great ferocity, wrath and destruction as it was only a matter of time before they were completely overcome and wiped out. But the question we have to ask is, when will this final great demonic struggle take place on the earth? In this regard Jesus gives us insight in His Olivet Discourse when He spoke to His Disciples about the signs of the times.

This discourse is in fact an exposition of Daniel 11 and 12. We don’t have to speculate in this regard because Jesus said it Himself:

“Therefore, when you see the ‘abomination of desolation’, spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
………………………for then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since
the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Matthew 24:15-21

This end time discourse has many signs that we have to look for but before the end comes the great sign, according to Jesus, validating that we have moved into this period, will be the return of the Jews to Jerusalem after having been dispersed to the four corners of the earth. (Luke 21:24). This sign has taken place; meaning that we are definitely in the end time, and this will conclude with the second coming of Jesus. As with all things, the redemptive work of Christ is linked to the historical journey of the Jewish people. This was true of His first coming and it will be true of His second coming and He said so!

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those
who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See!
Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no
more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Matthew 23:37-19

Jesus here speaks to Jerusalem, as if the people and city are one, and thereby states that He will return when they are restored to the city and ready to welcome Him. By His second coming Jesus asserts His victory over all that is dark and evil in the world. Daniel then writes, as Jesus stated or, more correctly Jesus quotes Daniel who wrote:

“At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch
over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such
as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.”
Daniel 12:1

My friends, Daniel, Jesus and John have warned us of a coming conflict that will begin with war in heaven. We are that generation that has witnessed the return of the Jewish people to Zion! Psalm 102 speaks of this remarkable latter-day regathering of the Jewish people to Zion (Psalm 102:12-18). This is a sign without precedent, and I have to warn you that we are on the cusp of a great conflict in the world, but few speak of it because they routinely ignore the prophet Daniel, the book of Revelation and the words of Jesus in this regard. Instead, they preach a “positive all is well message” that fails to prepare the Church for what’s coming.

It is important to note that scripture teaches that a great shaking is coming, and probably, by virtue of the COVID-19 global pandemic, is in the beginning stages (Hebrews 12:26). This shaking will include things in the heavens and on earth (See also Haggai 2:21-22). What would God be shaking in the heavens do you think? The answer is simple, all demonic power will be shaken out, dislodged and cast down to the earth. It will be a day of triumph since this shaking will assert the victory that Jesus won on the cross and He said that it would ultimately happen (John 12:31). Therefore, heaven rejoices and should (Revelation 12:10). However, the descent of the Devil, and his principalities and powers to the earth, will ignite a huge conflict, such as the world has never seen, and consequently the only way to be victorious in this struggle will be to embrace three things:

1. The salvation won for us by the shedding of Jesus’ blood.
2. The maintaining of a good testimony to the life of Christ in us….and,
3. A willingness to give up one’s life for Christ.
Revelation 12:11

This famous verse is always quoted by people but hardly ever in context. The context, as we have noted, is of a day of great trial coming to the earth that is without precedent that may lead many Christians to martyrdom. In fact, the passage declares, “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath…” I believe that the deep concern of the heart of God is that His children everywhere are unprepared for what is shortly coming. The book of Revelation is about the person of Jesus, His triumph over sin and the Devil and the welfare of His people. Revelation 12 therefore constitutes a warning from Him so that we can overcome and stand firm. Sadly, too many Christians prefer to have “their ears tickled” (2 Timothy 4:3) and thus will consider this to be negative and too scary and will not heed the warnings contained in these amazing chapters of the Bible. Still others have written these passages off by asserting that we will not be here to witness the things spoke of in them. I think not.

An action plan

“And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of
them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when
you lie down, and when you rise up.”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk
as children (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness,
and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no
fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose
Ephesians 5:8-11

In the light of what is approaching I especially urge fathers, mothers and grandparents to make it their priority to strengthen their children in Christ. Now is the time to act since, as Paul wrote, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). When Jesus is everything to us then we are indestructible, filled with joy and triumphant, even in a world infested with demons and the Devil himself. With Christ in our hearts, we are free from all fear and can face the future with joy.

I have written to you in the knowledge that God, by Jesus Christ, has called me to do so. I believe that the time is near and that we must now run the race with endurance that is set before us and therefore we must lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us (Hebrews 12:1-2). Please note from this verse that sin easily ensnares us, and this is more reason to be sober and vigilant and to draw close to Jesus. Do not become routine and lukewarm in your walk with Christ. Please encourage one another and let us excel in love, hospitality, devotion and prayer.

Malcolm Hedding