Theology of Satan Pt.2 Rev. 12:7 - 17
Topic: Sunday Eve. Bible Study Passage: Revelation 12:7–12:17
7And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10Then 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 brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
13And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you. Job 1:19,20
You can't avoid the question...the elephant in the room...Why?
It's everywhere, and it's asked in such a way as to be accusatory.
If there is a God; why is He so horrible. If He has the power to not spoil our fun, ruin our lives, why does He?
IN a week where France, and several states in our nation tipped over and embraced so-called marriages by those who engage in the sin of sodomy; a week where 26,000 babies were murdered summarily by selfish people for the sake of convenience; a week where our government breathed a sigh of relief because the tornado means the news media has diverted it's attention away from all of the scandals and injustices of a completely corrupt and bankrupt society and government......these same people have the audacity to ask 'Why did God allow this?'
The tornado in Oklahoma was about a mile wide at it's base and it scrubbed about 17 miles of earth clean.
Here's my question; The surface of the USA is 3,790,000 square miles. Why did God limit His judgement to only 17? Why so little? Why is God so gracious?
People, we're only 2 chapters away from an angel with a sickel that's going to harvest the whole earth, not 17 square miles.
The answer to the question is God allowed the tornado and other things we can't understand, because He is a sovereign King and all these things are working for His glory.
The right response is the one Job had. Job tore his robe, shaved his head, fell to the ground, and worshipped God.
20Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
22Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.
Did you catch that last. Blaming God . . is sin.
We've got a whole generation of christians that came into this deal with the promise of a wonderful plan for your life. (Bill Bright) Your life?? It belongs to You?
My brother-in-law, bless his heart, is in a church where they recognize that perhaps 80% of the people who populate the seats are there to find out how to make their lawn greener, to have prettier families than the mormons, to have a God who blesses them with pretty yards, and pretty well rounded children, and a grand long, satisfying retirement (investment is a big topic) . . etc.etc. That's how they get them into the mega-church building. And the plan is that somehow by osmosis all these yuppies become christians.
What do you say to them when God scrubs their house off the face of the planet with a tornado? What do you say to christian parents who are facing 18 months of a bald 6 year old with leukemia, and then he dies.
Where is the theology that talks about a God who has a plan to glorify Himself and to include us in that glory, completely by grace. Where is the theology that teaches us, unquestioningly, that God is righteous altogether, even when he scrubs our stuff off the planet?
Where is the theology that is teaching a generation of self seeking American christians that yes, God does love them, but His sovereignty is beyond our understanding, and amazingly, it's about Him, not them.
You say, you're talking pretty big Jim. If your Model A's and Model T's and all your cameras and all your junk was scattered for 40 miles over Esmeralda county, would you still be spouting this stuff?
I'm saying I want a theology that locks my feet to the solid Rock no matter what comes along. We can learn a lot from Job. He embraced God's sovereignty, and His goodness. Naked I came. Naked I'll leave. Everything in between was a gift. The giver has the right to take it away . . unquestioningly . . Blessed be the name of the Lord.
OK, now how am I gonna tie that tirade into Revelation 12??
Easy. Yes, there is evil in this world. And it's getting worse. And the father of it is pictured clearly for us in this chapter. But ultimately God wins and a glorious world with Him on the throne instead of Satan is about to come.
If we learn anything from this book, learn this, it isn't about NOW. It's about the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ, ruling a world where Satan is locked up for a thousand glorious years. And our God shares the glory with His elect. Forget about the McMansion now. Invest in the mansion on that side of the time line.
Vs. 7a And there was war in heaven,
Anybody here pay any attention to QEII passing near earth on Friday? Or how about 3 1/2 months ago when everyone was standing around watching for DA14 to pass by and it gets upstaged by a football field size rock that no one knew anything about that entered the atmosphere over Russia and exploded with the force of a small atomic bomb. 1200 people were injured, mostly from flying broken glass as windows exploded from the shock wave.
Ever think about the fact that most of the bizarre things impacting earth during this seven year period could be related to meteorite strikes?
I wonder if the two phenomenons are related? There's a big ruccous going on in heaven! 7b Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war
We don't have much to draw on to try to imagine a war in heaven. Nope, I've got nothin'. One angel could kill 185,000 men in 2 Kings 19:35. That's a lot of power. So what does it look like when myriads of myriads of angels with that kind of power have a war?
Michael and his angels, and Satan and his angels.
Mt. 24:24But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
Isaiah 34:4 All the stars in the sky will be dissolved and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.
Joel 2:30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
Matthew 24:29 "Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
Revelation 6:13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.
Is there a connection? Maybe. I won't be dogmatic, but the timing seems right. Maybe the fighting in heaven sends some meteorites reeling towards earth. It's just a guess, fwiw.
[sidenote: The jews knew these prophecies. One of their arguments against Jesus being the Son of God is based here. Luke 11:16 Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. If you're really the messiah, where's the signs in heaven?? Jesus says the only sign you're going to get is a resurrection from the dead.]
Vs. 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven
Popular culture has an image of the devil as a silly red troll with a pointed tail and horns, and of course he lives in all the old jokes, in hell. He rules hell. Wrong!
Where do we see Satan in scripture. Before the throne of God, accusing the saints. In the prelude to Job, Satan and God are having a conversation . . about Job. When Satan requests to sift Peter like wheat, it isn't from hell. Satan has never been to hell. Yet. And when he gets there, he will be on the bottom, not the top. He'll have the lowest vilest place of all of hell.
Vs. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
They lost the war, and they lost heaven. The devil and all the demons are cast down to the earth. Physically. They are limited to earth from this point forward. Again, our minds can barely fathom what that really means.
I want to dwell just for a second on that phrase; Satan, who deceives the whole world;
Deceive is the key word. Deceit is how Satan rolls. "Hath God said...?"
The tactic is always from the same root. Distort the revealed truth of God. In some form, take what God revealed and distort it. And it works both in false religion where Satan distorts the revealed 'words of God' and in general revelation around us in nature.
Everything from pantheism to the cleverest of almost true thruths that still miss the mark. (Tyndale movie) Satan has deceived the whole world. Men with men. Obvious to anybody that it's wrong. General revelation. Satan has distorted this. Deceived.
Spend some time stopping people on the street and asking them about the human condition and not one is lacking some version of Satanic deceit that they just know is the deep truth of all things. Everybody's got it all figured out. They'll be all over the map, but every one of them is perfectly content in whatever version of the deceit they've bought into.
The variety is staggering. You could set up shop on Melrose blvd in L. A. and talk to a 1,000 different people and get a 1,000 different versions of the same deceit. Everybody's OK. Everybody's got it all figured out.
What does 1 Jn. 5:19 say again? I've quoted it a thousand times. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. The whole world is deceived. The whole world is marching to the beat of it's father, the Devil.
Vs. 10 Then 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 brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.
This victory of Michael and the holy angels is significant because the expulsion of Satan and his demons out of heaven ushers in the Kingdom authority and reign of God with His Christ and His elect.
There is still a little time left for Satan to cause torment on earth, but in heaven, Satan, the accuser of the brethren, is defeated and expelled. It's game on in heaven!
Salvation is complete. Power is complete. The authority to reign of God and His Christ is complete. Satan who was bringing charges against God's elect is defeated. The charges, though true, are paid for with the blood of Jesus. Finished! Never again will our sin be remembered. It's done.
Vs. 11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
Who is the 'they' in this verse? The brethren of vs. 10. This is us.
Satan is accusing accusing accusing, and guess what. It's true. Satan is standing before God accusing Jim Galli of unspeakable vile things, and if it were up to me, I've got nothing. I'm bankrupt. He's right. I did all of that. And more.
But I have an advocate in heaven. Jesus paid the debt of my sin with his blood. His substitutionary death, His blood has cancelled all of the debt.
The blood of Jesus silences my accuser.
Then there's another group. See them in vs. 11. It says "and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death."
Martyr's. There have always been martyr's from Stephen in Acts to this very day. But during the tribulation it will cost every christian their life to believe.
Choosing Jesus will be a death sentence. And the saints will get in line. That guy with the meat cleaver in Britain right on the boulevard will be repeated a million times, shouting 'allah is great' while he severs some christians head. And such is Satan's deceit that he'll think he's doing honor to God. they did not love their life even when faced with death
12 “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
Rejoice O heavens and you who dwell there. There will be sweetness when Satan is vanquished, when the battle is finished and Satan and the demons are purged.
Those who dwell there . . who is that? US! That's us. The dragon who was accusing us and accusing our brethren is defeated and removed. We will rejoice in that day!
But WOE to the earth and the sea...When Satan is removed from heaven and cast to earth with all his demons, WOE. There has never been, nor will there ever be such a frightening time to be on earth.
It says he has GREAT wrath. Why, because he knows he's on God's clock and he only has a little time left. This will be 3 1/2 years of unbounded fury. Woe to the earth and those who dwell there!
Those of you with a martyr complex that think you want to ride out the tribulation so you can show God how tough you are . . Woe! You don't want to be there. Martyrdom, which will be quick and common for any and all believers sounds like a grace during this time. A blessing. A release from the woe that has come upon the earth.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
Christians are just going to get slaughtered like sheep, wholesale. But God has a plan for His remnant people, Israel. There are hundreds and hundreds of promises to Israel that God is going to fulfil in this time frame.
Micah 7:15 “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt,
I will show you miracles.”
16Nations will see and be ashamed
Of all their might.
They will put their hand on their mouth,
Their ears will be deaf.
17They will lick the dust like a serpent,
Like reptiles of the earth.
They will come trembling out of their fortresses;
To the LORD our God they will come in dread
And they will be afraid before You.
This whole flight to safety is going to be miraculous. What are the wings of eagles? Where is the place?
We don't know. Lots of silly guesses. America the eagle doing an airlift to safety?? Don't flatter yourself America.
There are some significant folk that think perhaps the place is Petra, in Edom. Petra is like a city built into the rocks inside a slot canyon. And there is some validity to that because there are prophecy's about Edom being spared. It also fits well with the next scenario.
Time, times, and half a time. This escape is the same as outlined in Jesus Olivet discourse. When you see anti-christ enter the temple and set himself up as God . . RUN! For your life!
That also gives us a time frame when Satan and the demons are cast out of heaven to earth. Mid Trib.
15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.
OK, here it gets bizarre. Almost no one sees this as literal. Even MacArthur spiritualizes this. I'm going to stick my neck out and take a literal view.
For one thing, suppose they are hidden in the cleft of the rock. In some place like Petra in Edom. Hidden in slot canyons away from the storm that rages everywhere else. What's the most obvious strategy for the Serpent?
Sure, wash them out of there with a flood.
And over the years as I worked through the minor prophets, I kept seeing little trivits that sound like this event. Well hidden. Passed over. I had to go back and try to find some of them. Not easy. Here are a few...
Amos 9:6 ...He summons the water of the sea and pours it out on the earth's surface. The LORD is his name.
Remember, God is in ultimate control over all of this. Does God allow Satan to pour out water, only to make His glory known to the nations and the serpent when He miraculously saves His people? Maybe. I think so.
Listen to Habbakuk 3;
3God comes from Teman,
And the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His splendor covers the heavens,
And the earth is full of His praise.
4His radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand,
And there is the hiding of His power.
5Before Him goes pestilence,
And plague comes after Him.
6He stood and surveyed the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered,
The ancient hills collapsed.
His ways are everlasting.
7I saw the tents of Cushan under distress,
The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.
8Did the LORD rage against the rivers,
Or was Your anger against the rivers,
Or was Your wrath against the sea,
That You rode on Your horses,
On Your chariots of salvation?
9Your bow was made bare,
The rods of chastisement were sworn.
You cleaved the earth with rivers.
10The mountains saw You and quaked;
The downpour of waters swept by.
The deep uttered forth its voice,
It lifted high its hands.
11Sun and moon stood in their places;
They went away at the light of Your arrows,
At the radiance of Your gleaming spear.
12In indignation You marched through the earth;
In anger You trampled the nations.
13You went forth for the salvation of Your people,
For the salvation of Your anointed.
You struck the head of the house of the evil
To lay him open from thigh to neck.
Does that not sound an awful lot like; But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth
Maybe I just watch too many goofy movies on TV. My imagination can easily see a very literal fulfilment of this obscure prophecy. Real water. Scooped up out of the sea. Poured out on poor little hiding Jacob, who would have been overwhelmed, except the earth opened up it's mouth and swallowed it up while Jacob watched yet another miracle of salvation.
17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Satan can't get at this little group of elect Israel that God has hidden for His purpose in the cleft of the rocks.
So he turns his wrath on the rest of her children. Who do you think that is?
Tribulation saints. Tribulation saints.
Romans 8:36 has always been true. But from the mid point of the tribulation until the end, this prophecy of Paul's will take on a very literal meaning.
Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."
Isn't it interesting that the church, a very large part of the church, has dismissed Israel and assigned the church as spiritual Israel.
When John Stott was asked in a conference What is the significance of Israel in their land, he said, None at all. Most of the folks in the Reformed movement agree. Post millenialism reigns. Amillenialism reigns. Israel isn't of any importance. God has turned His back on them. Set them aside. All of the promises will be fulfilled in the church.
Yet, if we take a literal view of Revelation, isn't it interesting that when Satan is cast to earth, who is his first and foremost target? Israel. He wants to obliterate Israel. He wants to wipe out the promises God made to Israel, by wiping out Israel.
When that is thwarted, miraculously, by the Almighty, for His people . .
. . second choice is tribulation saints. And he'll be allowed to slaughter them wholesale.
And guess what. In both cases . . the Glory goes to God!