Theology of Satan Pt. 1 Rev. 12:1 - 6
Topic: Sunday Eve. Bible Study Passage: Revelation 12:1–12:6
1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
3Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
Are christians 2nd class citizens in God's kingdom. 2nd re-attack
Rev. 11:2 But the court which is outside the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
This verse brings up the taste of class warfare. Haves and have nots. Don't measure the court. It's given to the Gentiles to tread under foot.
So the Jews are obviously the haves. And someone called the Gentiles are the have nots. Reminds me of the old joke, "Why did God make gentiles? Somebody's gotta pay retail"
What's really going on here. Does God engage in class distinction. Are gentiles, 2nd class citizens? Dirty gentiles who are treading down God's courts. Is that how God rolls?
Someone has pointed out the word is translated Nations in the modern translations. That doesn't help that much. So the jewish nation is God's chosen, and the rest of the nations are the 2nd class citizens?
No no no. The first verse that should come to mind is the story in Acts 10 about Cornelius. 34Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,35but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him
God does differentiate though. His own. Not His own. Those who love Him and those who hate Him. Believers, unbelievers. In God's kingdom under His authority, in Satans Kingdom, ruled by Satan.
Eph. 2: 11Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—12remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.14For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
Gal. 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. 4:4But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
We are heirs and sons, showered with riches in the heavenly places in Christ. What God is differentiating when He says trodden down by the gentiles is the folks outside the Kingdom. Here the 'gentiles' represent people who are not in the Kingdom of God, but rather, in the kingdom of Satan.
We've been going through Revelation verse by verse. We've seen the events surrounding the end times from several points of view. The church's point of view. The Son of God's point of view. God almighty's point of view, and in this chapter, we're going to see some end time events from Satan's point of view.
In these next three chapters we can build a theology of Satan. We really find out a lot about what he can and cannot do. About his power base. About God Almighty's sovereignty towards Satan. The main thing we need to take away tonight is this. Yes, Satan is a very powerful created being. Awesome power!
But just like the sea, God says where the waves stop. God is in full ultimate control of Satan. God is glorifying Himself and His Son by His ultimate Sovereign power over even Satan.
He lets the battle run it's course. He glorifies Himself by overpowering Satan and his demons. He tells us how the storie's going to end.
What's it like to be Satan in the end times. Chapter 12 gives us a view at that angle.
We'll see in Ch. 12, 13, 14 a great drama. A bit of theatre. Ghastly theatre. A play about Jacob's trouble and the end.
There are 6 players in the play. The Dragon, played by Satan. The Woman, played by God's chosen people, Israel. The Child, played by Jesus, the Christ. Michael, the arch angel, played by Michael the arch angel. And later on we'll meet the beast from the sea, and the beast from the earth, played by the Anti-Christ, and the false prophet of the anti-christ. And you could argue for a seventh, the saved remnant.
1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;
A mega sign. That's the greek word for great here. Used several times in the book of Revelation.
A sign is just that. It isn't the reality, it points to the reality. Here we have an indication from John that we need to leave literal interpretation behind and look at a picture story of some fabulous deeper realities.
...a woman...Israel. No surprise there. Israel has been described as the unfaithful wife of God many times.
The church is never a woman or wife. The church is always described as a bride. A chaste bride. Paul says For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband--to present a pure virgin to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:2
God speaks uniquely to Israel, His unfaithful wife, who He set aside for a time;
Isaiah 54:4“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame;
And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced;
But you will forget the shame of your youth,
And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
5“For your husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the LORD of hosts;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth.
6“For the LORD has called you,
Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,”
Says your God.
7“For a brief moment I forsook you,
But with great compassion I will gather you.
8“In an outburst of anger
I hid My face from you for a moment,
But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,”
Says the LORD your Redeemer.
9“For this is like the days of Noah to Me,
When I swore that the waters of Noah
Would not flood the earth again;
So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
Nor will I rebuke you.
10“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
John is very descriptive; clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars
This woman is beautiful. Especially compared with the dragon! She is clothed in glory. Clothed with the Sun. The moon was under her feet. This is a woman of value. A woman of worth.
And on her head a garland. I like the versions that say garland instead of crown. Crowns can be inherited by any fool in line, but a garland is given as a prize for great effort. The Olympic runners received a garland.
12 stars. 12 tribes of God's chosen people Israel. One of those stars is the line that messiah will come through.
This woman is very valuable to God. A woman of worth. Part of God's inscrutable plan. Why did God take such a circuitous route? Why didn't He just speak hell into existence the moment evil appeared and cast Satan and his host in? Well, for one thing, you and I wouldn't be sitting here making silly speculations if He had. This is Sovereign God's plan. And it is perfect.
2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
Who does Israel give birth to? The Messiah. God's annointed. The heir of the world.
3Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
The red (bloody) dragon is a vision of Satan's authority over this earth since the fall. Seven heads with seven diadems represents 7 kingdoms which have ruled the whole earth. Remember Daniel's vision. From memory, correct me if I'm wrong, the seven are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and a future Rome-ish kingdom. All of which rule the whole earth. Six are history, one is taking shape as we speak.
One of the lists at 'google images' had Saudi Arabia as the 7th! For years we've thought of the whole 2nd roman empire as western. We're western so obviously it would be western right. United Nations. 10 nation confederacy. European union. We've had some conditioning to think that. Pentecost. Hal Lindsey. Many others.
Another thought. Rome at it's height extended to all the nations that surround Israel now, clear around the mediteranean sea to Africa. Morroco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Arabia, Syria, Iran, Turkey. Parts of all of these moslem arabic peopled nations were also part of the Roman empire at it's height. Europe would be Iron. These nations were secondary. Clay-ish? perhaps.
Revelation 17 is helpful in interpreting this. 17:9, "The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings, five have fallen, one is and the other has not yet come and when he comes he must remain a little while, and the beast which was and is not is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven and goes to destruction."
10 horns are 10 nations in the confederacy of the new Romish kingdom. 10 puppet kings. Satan is always in the background ruling this world with human puppets. In the O. T. God will be talking to some king, like the king of Persia, but then you find Him talking directly to Satan who is behind the puppet king of persia.
4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.
This is a reference to Satan taking 1/3 of the angels with him when evil was found in him. We don't know the number, but it's a lot. 200 million demons come from the east. When the pit is opened the sky is blackened with them. There's a lot. Maybe innumerable. Demons.
The important number is the one we know. 1/3rd. So it's us, 2/3rds; them 1/3rd.
And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
This is what Satan does, right. Murder murder murder murder. Satan has a history of murdering anything and anybody that is in the righteous line that leads to Jesus, messiah.
He murdered Abel, the 2nd person ever born. Seth became the righteous line.
He tried to murder Joseph. He tried to murder Moses with the collateral damage being who knows how many other Israeli babies. Herod killed all the infants 2 years old and under of the Hebrews. Satan trying to get at Jesus.
The Jews are chosen, so Satan punishes them without mercy for millenia. No other nation has had the pressure from murderous Satan the dragon like Israel.
In 70AD when Rome came in and trampled Palestine I think Josephus tells us 1.2 million jews were slaughtered. And so it goes right down to modern times. Hitler, in some peoples memory still alive, slaughtered 6 million jews. Satan.
He wants to wipe God's people and God's line to Messiah off the face of this planet. In 2 Chronicles 21 and 22 the kingly line to messiah is wiped out to one person 2 times. A single human thread to messiah. At one point one little boy is hidden in a closet for 6 years. All his brothers murdered. Kingly line murdered. By Satan. One fragile child left in the line of messiah, but our God is in ultimate control and the messianic line to the heir of the world is unbroken.
Here, he waits for messiah to be born so he can murder Him. But he is taken to Egypt for safety, and is not murdered.
5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
Satan thought he'd finally succeeded and murdered the person he'd been trying to murder for millenia. But God raised Jesus from the dead. The murder was in the plan of God and accomplished our redemption.
Isaiah 9:6 directly parallels verse 5. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
.....and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. After redemption was complete, the child of the woman was caught up to God. That's where he is at today. At the throne of God.
Vs. 6 fast forwards back to the future.
6Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
What does this mean? I think it means exactly what it sounds like it means. Just as Jesus said in Matthew 24:15 - 22
15“Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),16then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.17“Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house.18“Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.19“But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!20“But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.21“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.22“Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short
At the mid point of the 70th week (Daniel 9) the abomination of desolation will be set up in the temple by Anti-Christ. When that happens the believing Jews need to flee for their very lives.
Where? The wilderness. What wilderness? I don't know. Won't Satan be able to keep fleeing Israel under surveillance in modern times? How is she going to flee? I don't know.
The folks living then will know. We really don't know. We play lots of guessing games about all of this, but that's all it is. Some think it's to Moab and Edom that she flees. And there may be some good reason for that. Daniel 11, talking about anti-christ says; 41“He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon.
Does Edom, Moab, and Ammon, traditional enemies of Israel, come to faith and protect Israel at the last? Maybe. For some reason they're going to be spared anti-christ's oppressive reign. Wouldn't that be a twist only God can accomplish!
But the woman flees to the wilderness and is protected by God. Obviously miraculously protected. Modern warfare with chemicals and germs, there'd be no real physical place to hide. Satan would just send a drone with Ricin that would wipe them all out no matter where they hid. God is protecting His chosen people from Satan the murderer here for sure.
We'll get to vs. 14 in 3 weeks about the 2 wings of a great eagle helping the woman flee. Suffice to say, I have my doubts that this is an American air lift.
So that's as far as I want to go tonight. Lots of very interesting material in these chapters. You could break chapter 12 into 3 parts but not easily into 2 beyond this point, so we'll call it a night and next time we'll finish the rest of ch. 12:7-17
We're a little over 1/2 way through the book of Revelation at this point. We've seen some amazing truths. Nothing that makes me want to experience it. I'm happy to stay pre-trib.
The question has come up, don't you think we need to go through this time to prove we've got the stuff to hang in and be finishers?
No. That smacks of works / pride being mixed in with salvation.
We add nothing to our salvation. God does it all. The fact that the many martyrs who do live through the tribulation and finish well for the glory of God is a real truth has more to do with the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints than it does with our own inherent strong guy type strength. All the glory goes to God. He carries us through. He is the reason the real believers finish strong in any generation. To Him be the Glory!