Revelation Chapter 12 Continued
Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Here we see several names for the Devil. Notice we are told here, that the serpent that tricked Eve was the devil as well. You can call him by any name you want to. If whatever you call him is evil, it is the devil or his handiwork. Here we see that he deceiveth (is continually deceiving), the whole world. That does not include the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in this world, but we are not of this world. Over and over we are told that everyone except the elect of the Lord will be deceived.
That old serpent … cast out into the earth”: Satan and his demons were cast out of heaven at the time of their original rebellion, but still have access to it (compare Job 1:6; 2:1). That access will then be denied, and they will be forever barred from heaven.
“Devil, and Satan” (compare 20:2). “Devil” comes from a Greek verb meaning “to slander” or “to falsely accuse”. He is a malignant liar (John 8:44, 1 John 3:8). His accusations against believers (verse 10), are unsuccessful because of Christ our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Satan, meaning “adversary”, or “enemy”, and appears especially in Job and the gospels.
“Deceiveth the whole world”: As he has throughout human history, Satan will deceive people during the Tribulation (compare 13:14; 20:3; John 8:44). After his temporary release from the bottomless pit at the end of the Millennium, he will briefly resume his deceitful ways (20:8, 10).
The evil one is given four designations:
(1) Dragon pictures his monstrous character as the enemy of God;
(2) Serpent connects him with the clever deception of Eve (in Genesis 3);
(3) Devil means “slanderer” (verse 10);
(4) Satan means “Adversary” (1 Pet. 5:8).
He also deceiveth the whole world (20:8).
The devil is the very one who brings in the “feel good” religion. Beware, he is a destroyer, he appealed to Eve’s flesh and destroyed her. The flesh is at war with the Spirit. Do not listen to the flesh.
Verse 9 here is just a repetition of what we have been reading about, Satan and his angels (demons). The devil runs to and fro throughout the earth seeking whom he may devour. The devil does not even bother the lost at all. He already has them. He is after the believer. He comes to church regularly, trying to coax you away. He brings false doctrine and strife in the church. Check everyone and everything they say by the Word of God. The deceiver will come dressed in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15). He plants doubt and fear wherever he goes.
Verses 10-12: The words “salvation, strength” (Greek dunamis, “power”), “kingdom”, and “power” (Greek exousia, “authority”), all refer to the coming of the millennial kingdom of “Christ”. With reference to believers, Satan is most commonly a tempter and the “accuser” of the “brethren” before God (compare Job 1:6-12; 2:1-5; Rom. 8:33-34). Believers can and will overcome him through the “blood” of Christ and their witness (“testimony”), about Christ. The last half of the Tribulation will be a time of terrible trouble on earth (compare Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Zeph. 1:15; Matt. 24:15-22). It will be Satan’s final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He has only a “short time” to try to prevent the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. Therefore, he has “great wrath” and intensifies his persecution of Israel, God’s chosen nation (verses 13-17), while setting up his own counterfeit kingdom through the Beast, the false messiah (13:1-17).
Revelation 12:10 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
“Accuser” (see notes on verse 9). Satan will no longer accuse believers before the throne of God because he will no longer have access to heaven.
He (the devil), is tossed out once and for all time. His day is over. The Great Tribulation will be a time of terrible trouble on earth (Jer. 30:7; Dan 9:27; 12:1; Zeph. 1:15; Matt 24:15-22). It will be Satan’s final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of Christ’s kingdom, so his wrath intensifies of his persecution of Israel, God’s chosen nation (see article “Kingdom – Christ’s Coming Kingdom“).
Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
“Blood of the Lamb”: No accusation can stand against those whose sins have been forgiven, because of Christ’s sacrificial death (see Rom. 8:33-39).
Victory is Theirs! Thank God that His Word does not leave the story of the Tribulation saints with their earthly demise, but loudly proclaims their ultimate victory through the blood of the Lamb. The “they” here, are the Christians. When Jesus shed his blood on Calvary and became the perfect Lamb sacrifice once for all time, Satan was defeated.
You can see here the word of our testimony is when we open our mouths and declare that we believe Jesus Christ is Lord, and also believe He rose from the grave; we will be saved. We must proclaim this, even if we know it will mean our life. We are not to regard life here on this earth as very valuable. The life that is important is in heaven. This world is not the Christian’s home. We are just passing through. We read in Romans:
Romans 10:8-10 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;” “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
The “they” here are the Christians. When Jesus shed his blood on Calvary and became the perfect Lamb sacrifice once for all time, Satan was defeated.
Revelation 12:12 “Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
“He hath but a short time”: Knowing that his time is limited, Satan will intensify his efforts against God and mankind, and specifically target Israel (verses 13, 17).
Here we Christians are told to look up and rejoice when we see terrible things happening, because our redemption draweth nigh. The devil, even now, is in an all-out push to destroy the church as it used to be fifty years ago. He realizes his time is running out, and he is working on the believers, trying to convert them to his way. His scheme is to tell us not to be a radical Christian. He is trying to make us not take God seriously. He doesn’t mind going to most churches, because he hears very little pure Word of God and no sermons on the blood. Watering down Jesus is one of his favorite tools to destroy the church.
It will be Satan’s final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. Therefore, he has great wrath and intensifies his persecution of Israel, God’s chosen nation, while setting up his own counterfeit kingdom through the Beast, the false messiah.
Verses 13-14: Satan’s persecution of Israel is apparently an attempt to exterminate God’s chosen people, thereby preventing the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and David in the messianic kingdom. But God protects Israel (compare verse 6). The “wings of a great eagle” represent swift escape from persecution. The “wilderness” symbolizes the Gentile nations of the world (compare Matt. 24:16-20, 31), where believers will help to hide Jews from the Antichrist’s persecution. According to (Zechariah 13:7-9), however, two-thirds of the Israelites will die first. The “time, and times, and half a time” equals three and a half times, referring to the last three and a half years of the Tribulation period (compare Dan. 7:25; 12:7), the time of “great tribulation” (Matt. 24:21).
Revelation 12:13 “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].”
When the devil saw that he could not uphold his kingdom by paganism, nor further execute his malice by pagan emperors, but was wholly routed and overcome, as to that power. “He persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (see the notes on Rev. 12:5).
The child is represented as safe; that is, the ultimate progress and extension of the church was certain. But Satan was permitted still to wage a warfare against the church, represented here by his wrath against the woman, and by her being constrained to flee into the wilderness.
Revelation 12:14 “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
“Wings of a great eagle”: Not actual birds’ wings, but a graphic depiction of God’s providential protection of Israel (compare Exodus 19:4). Wings often speak of protection (compare Deut. 32:9-12; Psalm 91:4; Isa. 40:31). Eagles, probably vulture like griffins, were the largest birds known in Palestine.
The “wings” represent swift escape from persecution. The eagle in many instances in the Bible is symbolic of God. I believe, it means that God will protect us in the midst of the problems. This I believe is what the (sealing of the believers), is all about.
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.”
To me this just shows again that God will protect the true church.
That phrase comes (from Dan. 12:11). This refers to the second half of the Tribulation which begins by the “abomination of desolation“. In Matthew, we read:
Matt. 24:15 “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand).”
During this time, God protects Israel from the Satan who may know where the Jews are hiding, but will be unable to get at them because of God’s divine protection.
“A time, and times, and half a time”: Three and one half years; the second half of the Tribulation (compare verses 6; 11:2-3; 13:5).
Verses 15-17: The “flood” symbolizes overwhelming evil and persecution (compare Psalm 18:4; Isa. 43:2). Satan, through the Antichrist and his forces, will persecute the Jews throughout the earth, but the Gentile believers of the “earth” will receive them and hide them. The “remnant” may be a reference either to:
(1) Jewish believers, who have refused to worship Satan and his Beast (compare 13:4, 7, 15), or to;
(2) Gentile believers, who are the “seed” of Abraham through Christ (compare Gal. 3:26, 29).
The last half of the Great Tribulation period will see a worldwide persecution of those who genuinely believe in Jesus Christ (13:7).
Revelation 12:15 “And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”
And the serpent; the devil, the old serpent, mentioned (in Revelation 12:9), being able no longer to execute his malice as a dragon, by the civil power of the heathen emperors, tearing Christians in pieces, but discerning the church secured by the special providence of God, went to work another way.
“Cast out of his mouth water as a flood”: Corrupting the judgments of several persons, who, out of the abundance of error in their hearts, preached corrupt doctrine.
Water is symbolic of the Word of God. This is strange because this water comes from the serpent’s mouth. I believe this is a flood of false doctrine coming from Satan himself. Some of the new translations of the Bible are very dangerous as well. If Satan can’t destroy us outside the church, then the final assault would be inside the church with false doctrine that is so close to truth that we would not even notice the difference, unless we were grounded and rooted in the truth.
This imagery symbolizes trouble in general. Satan’s forces will sweep towards the Jew’s hiding place like a great flood so as to be drown, killed or consumed by them.
Revelation 12:16 “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
“And the earth helped the woman”. By opening itself, and taking in what the serpent cast out, so that it could not reach the woman, and annoy her. Yet they served, in a great measure, to swallow up that flood of heresies which the devil threw out of his mouth by these heretics.
“Cast out of his mouth”: A great army will come against Israel like a flood (verse 15; compare Jer. 46:8; 47:2), only to be swallowed up.
Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
“The remnant of her seed”: Satan will turn his frustrated rage against every follower of the Lamb he can find, Jew or Gentile.
This really angers Satan. He cannot get to Jesus, as we said before, so he is venting his anger on the followers of Jesus. Notice here that there is only a remnant left that has not fallen for the devil’s false doctrine. A remnant means a very small portion that is left.
You see here, that this small portion (remnant), of Christians are keeping God’s commandants, and even though the opposition has been great, they still have given the testimony of Jesus Christ. These two names (Jesus and Christ), together mean The Savior, the Anointed One.
The remnant may be a reference either to
(1) Jewish believers, who have refused to worship Satan and his Beast or;
(2) Gentile Believers, who are the seed of Abraham through Christ.
“Commandments of God … testimony of Jesus”: The revealed truth from God and Christ contained in Scripture. Obedience to God’s Word always marks a genuine believer (compare John 8:32).
Notice here that there is only a remnant who have not fallen for the devil’s false doctrine. A remnant means a very small portion that is left. You can easily see here that what we were talking about before is true. You see here, that this small portion (remnant), of Christians are keeping God’s commandants, and even though the opposition has been great, they still have given the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation Chapter 12 Continued Questions
1. Who was cast out?
2. What are three more names for him?
3. Who does he deceive?
4. Who was cast out with him?
5. How do we know the serpent in Genesis was Satan?
6. Why does this whole world not mean the Christians?
7. Satan’s angels are __________.
8. How will the deceiver be dressed?
9. How did the serpent appeal to Eve?
10. This loud voice in heaven says now is come what? Three things.
11. Who has always accused the believers?
12. How was Satan overcome?
13. What do we read in Romans chapter 10 about our testimony?
14. In verse 12, who is the woe to?
15. The devil is come down with great wrath, Why?
16. Why does Satan not mind going to most churches?
17. When the dragon was cast unto the earth, he persecuted whom?
18. When the devil realizes he cannot get to Jesus, what does he do?
19. What was the woman given?
21. The eagle is symbolic of what?
22. Isaiah 40:31 tells us what?
23. What came out of the serpent’s mouth?
24. What is water symbolic of?
25. What kind of flood is this?
26. What helped the woman?
28. What word shows how few will make it through tribulation?
29. What does this small group do that pleases God?
30. What does Jesus Christ mean?
31. Write your opinion of those who are opposed to the true believer, who they are and what their tactics are.