“You are of God…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Revelation 12 gives us a panoramic view of our victory in Christ and the demise of Satan. In this chapter we see, in an allegory, how our God comes to the rescue of His people when we are under attack by our true nemesis – the Devil. Again, what happens on earth has its origin in the heavens. We’ll look at the things that take place in heaven and how those things affect us here on earth, but greater than this, we will see that the attacks of Satan on us is no match for the God in us!
As I see it, there are two sections to this chapter. 1) Revelation 12:1-12a and 2) Revelation 12:12b-17.
The first section (12:1:12a) has four major events: 1) a woman is pregnant with a male-Child Who is destined to “rule the nations with a rod of iron” (v5). This verse is a throwback to a prophecy about the Messiah (Ps. 2:6-9). Both the woman and the Child are protected. She flees to the wilderness where God has prepared a place of safety and provision. The Word of God reminds us that “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are saved” (Prov. 18:10). Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3, NKJV).
In the second major event, 2) a dragon stands at the ready to destroy the male-Child. We learn that the dragon is actually “the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (v9). In this chapter the Devil is also referred to as “the accuser of the brethren, who accused them before our God day and night…” (v10). The life of Job clearly shows us this truth (Job 2).
The third major event; 3) there is war in heaven as Michael the archangel and his army stand against the Devil and his army, a third of the stars which have been thrown down to earth (v4). One of the MOST encouraging lines in this chapter comes from this third major event. As Michael and company fought against Satan and company it is stated– “but they DID NOT prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer” (v8, EMPHASIS ADDED). This should give us great hope as we find ourselves in the crosshairs of Satan. Our Lord made a promise in Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (NIV).
The last major event in this section 4) is the sound of rejoicing in heaven. There is an exclamation of praise because our God reigns! Satan and his cronies have been cast out! In heaven, Satan is defeated by two incredible weapons that we each possess: a) the blood of the Lamb, and b) the word of our testimony. “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Pt. 1:20). Through our faith in Jesus and our testimony about Him, we can conquer the Devil! That’s why we can’t let fear stop us from talking about Jesus. That’s why we can’t let what people will think about us interfere with us talking about how good God is. That’s why when the world starts shouting lies about God and telling people that there is no consequence to their lifestyle of sin we can step in with the Truth and tell them about a God who reigns over all the earth; the one True God Who hung bled and died on a cross in their place. Who, when the world didn’t give two cents about what Jesus had to say, at that particular time Christ died for the ungodly (Romans (5:6-11). What’s our testimony? “this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11). “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5). In the famous words of comedy legend Martin Lawrence – “Run Tell Dat!”
The second section of this chapter (12:12b-17) gives us more detail about the woman’s encounter with the dragon and her rescue. The Devil is infuriated because the Child has escaped and he has been defeated. Not only that, but he has – forever – lost his access into heaven.
There is a pronouncement of “woe” upon the inhabitants of the earth because an outraged Devil has a very limited time to wreak as much havoc as he can. Notice that in verse 17, the Devil’s rage against the woman is now directed at her children “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” We are talking about Christians!
Compare what we have just read in Revelation 12 with what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 and Ephesians 6:11-12. How do these accounts help you to understand the realities of your spiritual warfare?
The attacks of Satan on us is no match for the God in us!