REVELATION 12.1-18   VICTORY IN JESUS

 

·      Third great interlude, from Chapter 12 through Chapter 15

o   The seven bowl judgments must happen immediately upon the blowing of the seventh trumpet (11:15).

o   These seven staccato bowl judgments will occur in a matter of days or possibly even hours consummated by the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are like the great finale of a fire works display. However, as far as we readers of Revelation are concerned, we will be given a great deal more information before we actually read about those events here in the book.

·      Chapters 12-13 introduce 7 different personages in the Tribulation:

(1)     a woman clothed with the sun, representing Israel (12:1-2);

(2)     the red dragon with seven heads and 10 horns, representing Lucifer (12:3-4);

(3)     the male Child, representing Christ (12:5-6);

(4)     the archangel Michael, casting Satan out of heaven (12:7-12);

(5)     the offspring of the woman, persecuted by the dragon (12:13-17);

(6)     the beast out of the sea, the future world dictator (13:2-10);

(7)     the beast out of the earth, the false prophet (13:11-18).    [1]

 

1st Great Person:  The Woman (Israel)

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.

2 Then being with child,

she cried out in labor

and in pain to give birth.

·      Roman Catholics insist this is Mary, mother of Jesus, now Queen of Heaven!

o   Christian Scientists insisted that this was Mary Baker Eddy.

o   Many commentators say – the church of Jesus Christ

§  BUT SHE’S PREGNANT!

·      This was the first of a series of events called “signs” or “miracles” (12:3; 13:13-14; 15:1; 16:14; 19:20).    [2]

 

The WOMAN is ISRAEL:

·      The ancient battle between Lucifer and Israel was part of the original curse:

Genesis 3:14-15   So the Lord God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this,

You are cursed more than all cattle,

And more than every beast of the field;

On your belly you shall go,

And you shall eat dust

All the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman,

And between your seed (the beast) and her Seed (Jesus Christ);

He shall bruise your head,

And you shall bruise His heel.”

 

2nd Great Person:  The Red Dragon (Satan)

3 And another sign appeared in heaven:

behold, a great, fiery red dragon

having seven heads

and ten horns,

and seven diadems on his heads.

·      A great, fiery Dragon – 7 heads, 10 horns, 7 crowns!

·      Like the Gorgon of Greek mythology – a multi-headed fearsome creature.

·      Daniel describes this dragon as well:

Daniel 7:24   The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings.

·      We will cover the 10 kings of the end times in Chapter 17.

·      10 Kingdoms all united under the rule of the Antichrist/Red Dragon.

 

4 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.

Isa 14:12-15  “How thou art fallen from Heaven,

O Lucifer, son of the morning!”

 

Eze 28:16-17  “I will destroy thee,

O covering cherub . . . I will cast thee to the ground.”

 

·      Perhaps Lucifer has control over 1/3 of the angels ever created.

·      Did these angels then become our demons today?

Eph 6:12   “ the rulers of the darkness of this world.”

 

Colossians 2:15     Having disarmed principalities and powers,

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

·      How many times has the devil attempted to destroy God’s chosen people?

 

3rd Great Person:  The Child (Jesus)

5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.

And her Child was caught up (raptured) to God and His throne.

·      Can only be Jesus, Messiah.

Psalm 2:7-9

7 “I will declare the decree:

The Lord has said to Me,

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.

8 Ask of Me, and I will give You

The nations for Your inheritance,

And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron;

You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’

 

6 Then the woman (Israel) 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.

·      The 2nd half of the Tribulation – “The Great Tribulation”

·      1260 days? – 3 ½ years!

·      The time period covered, 1,260 days, figures to 42 months, or 3 1/2 years. We believe this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled but will be during the end-times tribulation. The 42 months refers to the reign of the Antichrist, specifically, the last half (3 1/2 years) of the seven-year tribulation. At the beginning of that time, the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel and set up “the abomination that causes desolation” (Mark 13:14; cf. Daniel 9:27)—an act that links the Antichrist to Antiochus Epiphanes, who similarly defiled the temple. The Antichrist will then turn his attention to the genocide of the Jews. During the persecution, Israel (the woman of Revelation 12) will be protected by God in the wilderness. Also during that troubled time, God will send two witnesses to perform miracles and proclaim the truth of Christ in the face of the Antichrist’s lies (Revelation 11:5–6).  

 

·      Where is this “wilderness?”

·      Some suggest that it might be Petra, fortress capital of the Nabateans in Edom, south of the Dead Sea.

·      This city has a narrow access which could easily be blocked but which opens up into a large canyon capable of caring for many thousands of people.

·      Though Scripture is not specific, some believe the 144,000 men of chapter 7 are to be preserved here. The Scriptures themselves speak of God’s seal of protection on them.   [3]


Isaiah 16:1  
Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela (Petra) to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. 

Isaiah 26:20-21     Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be past.
21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. 

image184th Great Person:  The Archangel Michael – War in Heaven

 

7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,

8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

9 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.

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.

11 “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.

12 “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.”

·      This explains how Lucifer and his following angels were thrown out of heaven for eternity.

Ephesians 6:12   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

·      What great weapons we have!

1.   The blood of the Lamb

2.   The Word of our testimony

3.   No love for this world, willing to die for Christ.

 

·      The Blood:

·      This is the last reference in the Bible to the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; here it is the overcoming blood, enabling believers to withstand the deceptions and accusations of Satan. There are at least 43 references to the blood of Christ in the New Testament, all testifying to its great importance in the salvation and daily life of the believer.
Judas the betrayer spoke of it as “innocent blood (Matthew 27:4) and Peter called it
the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” ( 1 Peter 1:9 ). It is the cleansing blood in  1 John 1:7  and the washing blood in  Rev. 1:5 , stressing that it removes the guilt of our sins. Paul calls it the purchasing blood in  Acts 20:28  and the redeeming blood twice ( Eph. 1:7 );  Col. 1:14 , see also  1 Peter 1:18–19 , Rev.  5:9 ), thus declaring the shedding of His blood to be the very price of our salvation. Therefore, it is also the justifying blood (Rom.  5:9 ) and the peacemaking blood (Col.  1:20 ). Its efficacy does not end with our salvation, however, for it is also the sanctifying blood (Heb.  13:12 ). There is infinite and eternal power in the blood of Christ, for it is “the blood of the everlasting covenant” (Heb.  13:20 ).
The first reference in the New Testament to His blood stresses this aspect. Jesus said, at the last supper: “This is my blo
od of the new testament (same as ‘covenant’) which is shed for many for the remission of sins ( Matthew 26:28 ). Let no one, therefore, even count the “blood of the covenant. . an unholy thing” (Heb.  10:29 ), for the blood of Christ is forever innocent, infinitely precious, perfectly justifying, always cleansing and fully sanctifying.  [4]

 

The Sufficient Blood

His blood is so sufficient
He tells us in His word
On the mercy seat in heaven
It was put there by our Lord.

It stops the accuser of the brethren
As he walks before the throne
Our God just points to the blood
And Satan knows He cares for His own.

It’s sufficient for any situation
To nourish, to cleanse, and keep.
Oh, magnify your name my Lord
My soul with rapture leaps.

Can my sins though oh so many
Make this blood of no avail
Once I’ve named the name of Jesus
In my heart, I cannot fail.

His word has proclaimed it
The work begun in me
Will someday be completed
When His dear face I see.

And when I dwell in heaven
As the ages roll along
Oh, that precious blood of Jesus
Will be my victory song.   [5]

 

·      Key elements in any Christian’s testimony:

·      Be organized in your approach to telling your testimony.

·      No one wants to hear your entire life history – it isn’t pertinent to the subject of Christ.

·      Remember – keep Jesus the main focus – not you!

·      Follow a three point outline:

1.   Your life before knowing Christ.

2.   How you came to know Christ (be specific)

3.   Life after you received Christ (changes He has made – what He means to you now)

·      Emphasize point three (3) more than the other points.  Don’t get stuck with all the gory details of your life before Christ.

·      Use Scripture – but have it memorized (with chapter and verse) or be able to immediately turn in your Bible to the chapter and verse so they can read along with you.  Don’t ever say:  “Well, it says somewhere in the Bible . . .”  If you don’t know the “address” then don’t go there.

·      KEEP THE TESTIMONY TO THREE TO FIVE MINUTES!  NEVER MORE!!!!

·      Don’t:

·      Use Christian jargon – words such as “saved”, “convicted”, “justification”, “converted”, or “born again.”  Though these words are precious to us they are so often misunderstood and consequently ridiculed by non-Christians.

·      Be too wordy, beat around the bush, or emphasize how bad you once were.

·      Speak in glittering generalities.  Avoid words like “wonderful”, “glorious”, etc.

·      Mention church denominations – it’s not about them, it’s about Jesus.

·      Speak negatively or critically about any other group, church, denomination, Pastor, Bible study, or ministry.

·      Give the impression that the Christian life is just a “bed of roses.”

·      Get into arguments about minor doctrines or cult churches.

·      Preach at people!

 

·      To “love not your life even to the death”

God Counted Crosses

I counted dollars while God counted crosses,

I counted gains while He counted losses,

I counted my worth by the things gained in store

But He sized me up by the scars that I bore.

I coveted honors and sought for degrees,

He wept as He counted the hours on my knees;

I never knew until one day by the grave

How vain are the things that we spend life to save;

I did not yet know until my loved one went above

That richest is he who is rich in God’s love.

—The Brethren Evangelist   [6]

 

5th Great Person:  The Offspring of Woman

13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth,

he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.

14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle,

that she might fly into the wilderness to her place,

where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time,

from the presence of the serpent.

15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman,

that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

16 But the earth helped the woman,

and the earth opened its mouth

and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

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.

·      In some way God assists the Israelites so that they are not completely destroyed, though Zechariah 13:8 indicates that “two-thirds will be struck down and perish.”

·      Though only one-third of Israel in the land is thus preserved (of which the 144,000 of Rev. 7 are a portion), Satan the dragon continues to war against the rest.   [7]

 



[1]Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[2] Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[3] Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[4]10,000 sermon illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Biblical Studies Press: Dallas

[5]10,000 sermon illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Biblical Studies Press: Dallas

[6]Tan, P. L. 1996, c1979. Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Bible Communications: Garland TX

[7] Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.