Revelation 12: The woman and the great dragon
The Woman and the Red Dragon. John was granted access to see into the spiritual world, and he witnessed a Dragon, Satan, waiting and watching in the heavens for a woman, groaning in pain, as she was about to give birth to her Son, Jesus, for he wanted to devour him, but the Son was caught up into heaven, and the woman escaped into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God to hid from Satan, so he furiously went after her other children, the ones who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ. While the dragon stood in front of her waiting and watching for her to give birth, he caught 1/3 of the stars, in his tail, and flung them to earth (Revelation 12:1-6, 17). These stars are angels, who did not keep their original places of authority, instead they left their positions to follow Satan (Jude 1:6).
Then John describes a great war that breaks out in heaven, between Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon and his angels, but the dragon was not strong enough to hold his place in heaven, so he was hurled to the earth with his fallen angels (Revelation 12:7-9). Then the heavens rejoice by singing, Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and
night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death (Revelation 12:10-11).
We evaluate the defeat of Satan, which happens in two parts:
To Evaluate the Woman:
The Son Born is Jesus. We know the Son that was born is Jesus, born of God, coming down from heaven. In Him all the fullness of deity dwelt; He received the full measure of the Holy Spirit. It pleased the Father to give all power into His hands, and this was possible because He came from above (Matthew 11:27: John 3:35; Psalm 8:6). Jesus chose to lay down His life with that authority; and this was pleasing to the Father, so the Father raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand, putting all rule and authority, everything in heaven and on earth under His feet. (1 Corinthians 15:24; (1 Peter 3:22; Matthew 28:18; Colossians 2:10; Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9-10; John 17:2)).
Satan is Disarmed. Paul teaches that Jesus disarmed Satan by taking away his ability to accuse man before God, for Jesus took the sins of the world away, by becoming sin by hanging upon a cursed tree (Colossians 2:13-15). This battle is critical because it shows that Jesus has the head, had to suffer, as we the body, are currently suffering. Once the completion of suffering has happened, then the end will come and people who transgressed God will enter into the suffering of Judgement on the Day of the Lord. Suffering makes things perfect. This will be the completion of victory over sin, death, Satan and his hoards. All the suffering began when Christ humbled Himself to come to earth, live as a lowly man, ensured the cross, and momentary separation from God; and the suffering is happening within the body at present. So we can sing loudly with heaven, Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants (Revelation 19:1-2).
PART 1 OF SUFFERING - THE HEAD, JESUS
The Completed Portion of the Battle: Christ's Suffering. Sin gives birth to death, and all mankind was bound to death through sin (Romans 3:23; 5:12, 21), so man needed a savior, so God sent His Son. Because sin was in the flesh, the body will suffer and just as Christ suffered in the flesh, so shall we (1 Peter 4:1; Isaiah 53:3). The trespasses of man, were vast, as he did whatever his heart desired, so it had to be bound first, before being defeated. God gave the law which achieved many things, but still is more to come from it.
- The Law Caused Sin to Increase. Before the law, people didn't realize they transgressed God, so the law was the knowledge of the transgression, so it's called a curse (Deuteronomy 11:26, 28; Romans 7:7; Galatians 3:10, 13), and it actually made sin increase (Romans 5:20) and gave it power (1 Corinthians 15:56; Romans 5:20), and sin sprang to life and I died (Romans 7:9-11). The law identified sin as the problem between God and man; the law was the light to shine upon sin to expose that it brought death to mankind. Man wasn't capable of fixing the problem because everyone sinned.
- The Law Brought Judgment. Once people were aware of their sins against God, they could be held accountable for their violations as God is righteous. The law brought judgment and condemnation (1 Corinthians 3:9; Romans 4:15).
- The Empowering of Satan. The whole world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19), he is the god of this world because he blinded the minds of the unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4), by deceiving people so they followed his words, instead of following God's words, giving him have power over people. and the power over the air (Ephesians 2:1-2). Once you sin, you're already dead in the trespasses (1 Timothy 5:6; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; Romans 6:11; Proverbs 21:16), for God's words is binding, it will happen, so once it happens, then you're bound in death, hell, awaiting their judgment. He was able to terrorize them, by reminding them of their transgressions, by announcing it before God, day and night. People became fearful of death. So Satan gained power over people by telling lies, having them sin, and binding them in death to await God's judgment for violating His law.
- Words Matter Because They Bind or Loosen Us. We seen that Satan's lies bound us to sin and death, so his words were binding, but not the perfect binding which can not be undone. The perfect binding is with God: for God is love (1 John 4:8), God is the Word and the Word is God (John 1:1), Jesus is the Word that became flesh (John 1:14), and love is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:14), and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). We know that He created all things, and all things were created for Him, even thrones, powers and authorities which are visible and invisible (John 1:3: Colossians 1:16). So everything Jesus did or said is bound together perfectly. We are either bound by Satan, to sin and death, making us his slaves; or we are bound by Jesus to life and righteousness, making us His slaves (Romans 6:15-23).
- Sin and Righteousness Each Bound to One Man Each. Now Adam sinned and sin spread to all, for all then sinned, so many died by one man's trespass (Romans 5:12, 15), so all guilt of sin could be charged to one man's account, Adam, but this was so all reconciliation of that guilty charge could be assigned to one man also, Jesus. One man was charged with the judgement for all sins, so one man could bring justification for all (Romans 5:16-17).
- The Savior is Born, Coming Out of the Law. God sent His Son to break the chains of sin and death on people, to set them free, so we can be raised to life with Him. When Jesus died, He couldn't be held in death because He never sinned, so He had to be released back to life. This resurrection from the dead, made Him eternal, the first man to come back to life from the dead (Colossians 1:15, 18). We were enemies in our minds towards God, and therefore separated from Him (Ephesians 4;18), but now you are reconciled to God, free of accusations, by Christ's physical body through death, ... if you continue in your faith (Colossians 2:22). We were released from the accusations guilt from sin, the transgression of the law, when Jesus became our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and nailed it to the cross as punishment, which cancelled all the charges of our debt which condemned us (Colossians 2:14). This put Satan to an open shame, because he was disarmed (Colossians 2:15) he couldn't make accusations before God anymore. The debts were cleared. His words did not have power in heaven any longer, so he couldn't hold his position. Thereby, being 'thrown down.' Which takes us back to Revelation 12, for we see And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:10-11).
- Christ's Resurrection. This was the defeat of sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57). He was granted the keys to the bottomless pit, making Him both Lord of the living and the dead (1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Romans 14:9; Revelation 1:18). And Jesus told them, Now is the time for judgment of this world, now the prince of the world will be driven out (John 12:31). Death will be completely defeated, when the last trumpet blows, when the dying physical bodies will become imperishable spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51-56). There is no more condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Whoever believes in the Son will be raised to eternal life with Christ, but whoever doesn't believe or obey will have the wrath of God remain upon them (John 3:36).
PART 2 OF SUFFERING - THE BODY, THE CHURCH
Satan Attacks the Saints. Returning back to John's apocalyptic vision, after Satan and his fallen angels were thrown to the ground, we see Satan tried to harm the woman but God and the earth protected her (Revelation 12:13-16), so in fury, he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed: those who keep the commands of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17). He roams the earth, like a lion, looking to devour (1 Peter 5:8). We know that even though Christ has everything under his feet, He is allowing the completion of time for the number of saints who are to be killed is complete (Revelation 6:11). The suffering of this world has to continue until the fullness of time; he is the ruler of air (Ephesians 2:2); specifically the ruler of this rebellious world system (2 Corinthians 4:4). The entire suffering of Christ must happen, so we the body the church must suffer to bring it to completion (Colossians 1:24). The completion is putting our physical bodies to death and being raised to life in a spirit body, thereby defeating everything fully.
The Uncompleted Part of the Battle. Satan has effectively been thrown down and disarmed from making accusations, but he is still the prince of the corruption over the land. He is still at war with the saints, the children of God, as noted above. This is why Paul is concerned about our well-being, and he warns us to not fall back into the trap of Satan's lies, for he says, Your mind will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3), and he tells us to put on the entire armor of God, so we can stand against these lies (Ephesians 6:11). We must remember that the enemy offers a false light, which really shades or darkens the truth. So if we are not diligent, we may think the enemies easier path is the better way, but it always leads to death and destruction, for there is no better way for man than to listen and follow and obey God. What we say is critically important because the power of our testimony stands true and is part of the overthrowing of Satan (Revelation 12:10-11).
- So as children of God, we must know that words are binding. Jesus even told us what you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven (Matthew 18:16). He explains that by the mouth of two or three, every fact is confirmed; making it binding. This gives us perfect binding power when we pray in groups, for where two or more gather, I will be there (Matthew 18:20), so whatever we ask in the will of the Father, in Jesus' name, it will be given (1 John 5;14; Matthew 18:19). We should watch our words.
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered (Hebrews 2:10).
Rejoice in Your Afflictions. As the head, Christ, suffered so will the body, but this is to bring things to completion. Therefore Christians are not to be surprised by their suffering, as we are in the time of testing, for judgment has begun in the house of the Lord, on us; but instead we should rejoice as we are participating in the suffering of Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7; 2:19-21; 4:12-17; James 1:2-4; Matthew 5:10-12); (2 Timothy 3:12) as our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory (1 Peter 3:18-19); (2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 17; Psalm 119:71; Romans 5:3-5; 8:18, 35). Christ as the head will be with us in our suffering, and then we use that comfort to comfort each other (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). This emphasis the need for unity and solidarity of the brothern, for we are in this persecuted fight together, sharing in Christ's sufferings until it's all complete. We need to be strengthened and encouraged by each other and to bear one another's burdens to ease their sufferings (Galatians 6:2). We will not be burned, swallowed up by the waters, nor forsaken for Christ, our head, will be with us (Isaiah 43:2). As He will wipe away our tears and there will be no more suffering (Revelation 21:4) in the end when death and the enemy are finally fully defeated, as He will wipe away all of our enemies who cause us pain and suffering.
'I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world' - Jesus (John 16:33).
Dear heavenly Father, we ask that You would expand our minds and wisdom to be able to eat of this precious body and blood of Christ so that we may be spiritually nourished in our understanding unto eternal life, as Your words are Spirit, truth and life. Amen