Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Revelation 12 - The Woman and the Dragon

The events that follow are about the seventh trumpet, which are the last 7 judgments.  These are described in chapters 15 - 18.  Chapters 12, 13, and 14 summarizes the same period.  This period is called the Great Tribulation.  John wrote about events that happen before those troubles or judgments.  He takes us back to the original rebellion when Satan is cast to earth along with 1/3 of his angels.

John in heaven saw a great sign: a woman clothed with the sun, moon at her feet and crown of 12 stars on her head.  She was with child and cried out being in labor and in pain to give birth. (Rev. 12:1-2).  This woman is Israel and the child is Jesus.  This refers to the birth of Jesus and Christianity.  The pain is the period when Israel waited for the promised Messiah to come.

Then he saw another sign, a red dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns and on his head were 7 crowns.  This red dragon is Satan.  His tail swept away 1/3 of the stars and threw them to earth.  These stars are angels who followed Satan.  The dragon stood before the woman (Israel) ready to devour her child (Jesus).  She gave birth to a son who is to rule all the nations.  God protected her child and took Him up to His throne. (Rev. 12:3-5).  This refers to Jesus’ resurrection and is now setting on the right hand of God.  When He returns, He will rule over all nations and the King of Kings.

The dragon is described as red because of his murderous and destructive personality.  His 7 heads, horns and crowns are evil governments that come from Satan himself.  He rules over them.  His tail sweeping 1/3 of the stars is the description of the original demonic uprising against God.  These are called fallen angels who serve Satan.

The woman fled into the wilderness prepared by God and there she will be nourished by 1,260 days.  During the last 3 ½ years Satan will try to kill all the Jews, but God will protect those who believe and will keep them safe. (Rev. 12:6)  I think this refers to a time when Israel will take refuge among the Gentiles nations where God will care for her during the Great Tribulation.

When have you felt Satan pursuing you?
How did God protect you?

Do you feel guilty over past sins that you have already confessed and been forgiven? 
When Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.

John saw a war in heaven with Michael and his angels against the red dragon (Satan) and his angels.  This war will happen sometime during the tribulation.  Satan and his angels will be defeated and be thrown down from heaven forever. (Rev. 12:7-9)  Remember Satan use to be an angel, but wanted to be equal with God.  He was thrown out of heaven along with angels who followed him, but still could go back and forth from earth and heaven.  Michael is one of the chief angels of God.  In this war that John is seeing, Michael defeated Satan and his forces and now they had no access to heaven.   Not only will Satan be defeated in heaven, but he will be defeated on earth as well when he and his demons will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

How does God’s power give you comfort and courage?  We see in Job 1-2 that God is in control and Satan must ask God for permission before he messes with God’s people.

Then John heard a loud voice in heaven.  “Now have come the salvation, and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”Rev. 12:10-11

“Who accused them before our God day and night” – The devil is tossed out once and for all time.  His time is soon over and he knows it.  During the last half of the Tribulation there will be terrible trouble on earth.  It will be his final attempt to deceive people.  Ones of his favorite places to water down God’s Word and Jesus is in the church.  He wants to prevent the reign of Christ.
“They overcame him by of the blood of the Lamb” - When Jesus became the perfect Lamb sacrifice, Satan was defeated.  We have the ultimate victory through His sacrifice.  
“And by the word of their testimony” - When we open our mouths and declare Jesus is Lord and believe in Him and what He did, we are saved.  When we speak His truths, we are witnesses for Him to others.
“They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”- Life on earth is not valuable.  Only life in heaven is important.  That is where our home is.

Where will you spend eternity?
Have you declared Jesus as your Lord?
If not, what are you waiting for?

SATAN IS REAL!  Satan is also called the serpent of old, the father of lies, a deceiver, and a murder.  His mission is to lead the whole world astray.  God is more powerful than Satan.  Satan is under God’s control and he can only do what God allows.  He cannot be everywhere at once like God.  He can temp only 1 person at a time, but his demons are everywhere.  He does not know the future, but only know what God allows him to know.  He runs around the world seeking to devour anyone he can.  He knows his time is short so he is working extra hard.  He doesn’t bother the lost, because he already has them.  He is after the believer.  He causes trouble, doubt and sickness.  He accuses us before God, but we know we are triumphal.  We know who wins in the end.

  “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”Rev. 12:12.  He was defeated when Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  Those who believe in Jesus have overcome the world and Satan.   

Satan could not kill the child so he turned his attention to the woman.  These are the Jews that are true believers and trust God.  God will protect them in the last 3 ½ years.  The dragon will try to hurt the woman, but will not be able.  God promised to protect Israel during the last days and He will do what He promised.  God will save Israel.   “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring”. (Rev. 12:13-17)  Satan can’t get Jesus so he goes after His followers.

God’s people will suffer during those last 3 ½ years.  Many will die because of their belief in Jesus.  What a terrible time that will be. 

If you have friends or loved ones who don’t know Jesus, what are you going to do about it?

Next week we will study Revelation 13 and learn about the beast that comes out of the sea, which is the Antichrist.  You don’t want to miss that.  Hope to see you here.

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