In Revelation chapter 12, we will be looking at another of John’s visions that reveals the history of God’s kingdom (the woman) and the first coming of Christ (the child) to the earth. It will emphasize the attempts made throughout history to stop Christ from accomplishing His work and destroy His people from whom He came. A short outline of this chapter is as follows:
The Woman With Child & The War In Heaven 12:1-17
- The Woman and the Child 1-6
- Michael’s Defeat of the Dragon 7-12
- The Persecution and Flight Of The Woman 13-17
SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:
- Revelation 12:1-6 – The Woman and the Child
John sees a woman appear in the sky. This woman symbolizes those who are saved in both Old Testament and New Testament times. This woman is seen about to give birth to a child (Jesus Christ being born into the world).
John then sees a great red dragon appear in heaven (Satan). He is symbolically represented as the one that controls the worldly empires of this fallen world. He is seen opposing the birth that is about to take place. He is preparing to destroy the child at the moment he is born.
This helps us to understand that Satan opposed the first coming of Christ. He did all he could to stop Christ from coming and attempted to hinder Christ during His life on earth. Satan did all of this in an attempt to stop Christ from going to the cross which would completely defeat Satan and the powers of darkness.
We see that Satan could not stop Christ, as He won the victory over Satan at the cross. This victory was clearly displayed at the resurrection, ascension and exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God.
Following the victorious ascension of Christ, the Christians who are alive upon the earth are pictured as living in a spiritual wilderness (this fallen world) who is given a place of refuge (in the presence of Christ) for protection from the many attacks of Satan.
- Revelation 12:7-12 – Michael’s Defeat of the Dragon
The vision now “flashes back” to the original fall of Satan to the earth, which took place prior to the fall of man. Satan’s fall is pictured as a war that took place in heaven. This war was made up of two warring parties Michael the archangel (probably symbolic of Christ) and the elect angels of God versus Satan and the angels that fell with him.
The casting out of Satan to the earth was proof that Christ would ultimately defeat Satan on the cross which took place 4000 years after Satan’s fall. This is why God’s people praise the Lord for the fall of Satan and his upcoming defeat on the cross.
Once Satan arrives on earth, out of anger and desperation, he acts as an accuser of the brethren, finding fault with God’s people and seeking to gain their rejection by God.
- Revelation 12: 13-17– The Persecution and Flight of the Woman
As the dragon (Satan) opposes the woman (God’s people on earth), she is given a place of refuge in the presence of the Lord. She is given two wings (God’s strength and enabling grace) which enable her to flee the dragon’s attacks and dwell safely in the presence of the Lord.
As a last resort, Satan sends forth false teaching as a flood in to the world. This is an attempt to hinder the works of God’s people. This false teaching is readily accepted by the lost world (the earth swallowing the flood) while being rejected by the people of God. This results in a clear distinction between those who are truly saved (rejecters of Satan’s error) and those who are lost (those who are accepting of these false teachings).
This war that takes place between Satan and the people of God continues to this day, and will continue, until the second coming of Christ.
WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:
In Revelation chapter 13, we will begin to learn more about the workings of Satan as he opposes God’s people on the earth. We will be seeing two main figures, and their workings, that are used by Satan to oppose the people of God…
- The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
- The Beast of the Earth – The False Religions of This World (13:11-15)
- The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Man (13:16-18)
May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.
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