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Revelation 11:15-12:17 - Satan Has Been Cast Out

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So far, six of the seven trumpets have been sounded, and seventh is about to be blown...
Revelation 11:15–19 NASB 95
15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. 18 And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” 19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
When seventh trumpet blows, it is proclaimed that the time has come for God to take over this world, to judge the dead, and to reward His people.
But before John is shown the end, he is given some more information about events that must happen first.
And so he continues...
Revelation 12:1–6 NASB 95
1 A 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; 2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And 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. 5 And 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. 6 Then 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.
John sees a woman, who represents the people of God. In the old covenant, the people of God consisted of those Jews were loyal to God. In the new covenant, the people of God consists of those Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus.
John also sees a dragon, who represents the devil. The dragon is said to throw 1/3 of heaven’s stars to the ground. This language is taken from Daniel 8:10 where the same phrase is used to describe the wicked king Antiochus Epiphanes and his persecution of the Jews.
Daniel 8:10 NKJV
10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.
As such, when Revelation describes the dragon thrown down 1/3 of heaven’s stars, it likely refers to his persecution of the righteous.
In John’s vision, the woman gives birth to a male child, who is Jesus, the one God has chosen is to rule the world.
The dragon wanted to kill the child as soon as He was born. And as we know from Matthew’s Gospel, in an attempt to kill Jesus, King Herod ordered all of the male children in Bethlehem under the age of 2 to be killed.
But King Herod was unsuccessful, and Jesus completed His ministry and was ‘caught up to God and His throne’ when He ascended back to heaven.
The woman is then said to flee into the wilderness where God has prepared a place for her, where she will be fed.
This language is to evoke in our minds that time when Israel was in the wilderness after they left Egypt and were on their way to the Promised Land, and God fed them by providing this mysterious food called manna.
Even so, we, the Church, are currently on our way to the Heavenly Promised Land which is the New Jerusalem. Even as God was faithful to provide for the Israelites, so He is faithful to sustain His Church as we navigate the wilderness journey of this life.
Notice the time that God is said to feed the Church for - 1,260 days which is same as 42 months, of 3.5 years.
As we saw last week, 3.5 years is the the duration that Antiochus Epiphanes greatly persecuted the Jews in the 2nd Century BC. This duration of 3.5 years, is therefore not to be understood literally, but as a symbol denoting a time of difficulty for God’s people.
Our passage continues...
Revelation 12:7–12 NASB 95
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 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. 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. 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.”
After Jesus returned to heaven, we are told that the devil, who accuses God’s people before God day and night, was thrown out of heaven.
The devil being cast out of heaven is symbolic of the fact that Satan’s accusations against us have been rendered null and void. This is because Jesus has shed His blood, paying the penalty for our sins and cleansing us of all sin.
This is why it said in verse 11
Revelation 12:11 NASB 95
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.
However, the fact that the devil has been thrown out of heaven means something rather unfortunate for the earth.
The devil is furious, because he knows that the time is rapidly approaching when he will be thrown into the lake of fire. Therefore he seeks to work as much wickedness as he can before that day. We must understand that much of the wickedness we see around us is the devil’s rage at his impending doom.
Our passage continues...
Revelation 12:13–17 NASB 95
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. 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. 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.
In response to the dragon’s persecution, the woman is given eagle’s wings so that she can fly into the wilderness and be nourished there for ‘a time and times and half a time’ (3.5 years).
The fact that she was given eagle’s wings reminds us that we cannot defeat the devil in our own power. We need the strength that God gives. It is only the wings that He provides that enable us to fly.
Isaiah 40:31 NASB 95
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Psalm 23:3 NLT
3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Philippians 4:13 NASB 95
13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Our passage also informs that the dragon spewed water at the woman, and that the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the water.
This reminds us that in and of ourselves we do not have what it takes to defeat the devil. It took a sovereign act of God, causing the earth to open and swallow the water.
It is therefore essential that we humble ourselves, and pray as Jesus taught us, saying ‘lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one’.
Spiritual warfare is to be waged with humble dependence on God. It is not about being cocky and calling the devil all kind of names. Such is actually discouraged...
Jude 9 NKJV
9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
Spiritual warfare is something that must be done reverentially and in dependence on God.
Notice...
The dragon persecuted the woman, but didn’t manage to destroy her.
The dragon then spewed water at the woman, but didn’t manage to destroy her.
The dragon then made war with the rest of her offspring.
This conveys to us an important spiritual lesson here: when the devil attacks you and fails, he doesn’t quit. He seeks to find another inroad.
For this reason, we must never let our guard down.
1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Now, when Jesus taught us to pray, he told us to say ‘give us this day our daily bread’. On another occasion in Luke’s gospel He said ‘give us day by day our daily bread’. But in Matthew’s Gospel He said ‘give us this day our daily bread’.
This assumes we are praying each day, as it says ‘this day’, not ‘this week’.
Jesus then went on to say ‘and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one’. In other words, we are supposed to pray every single day that God would deliver us from the evil one.
So my simple question to you is this. Each day, do you ask God to deliver you from the evil one?
Let us all ensure that we do so, knowing how much we need God to helps us.

Summary

God will sustain His Church as we navigate the wilderness journey of this life, and bring us into our heavenly Promised Land.
Because of Jesus' cleansing blood, the devil's accusations against us have been rendered null and void.
Much of the wickedness we see around us is the devil’s rage at his impending judgement.
We cannot defeat the devil in our own power. We need to be strengthened by God, and we need to daily ask God to deliver us from the evil one.
Spiritual warfare as the Bible teaches is not about being cocky and calling the devil all kind of names.
Spiritual warfare is something that must be done reverentially and in dependence on God.
When the devil attacks you and fails, he doesn’t quit. He seeks to find another inroad. Therefore, we must never let our guard down.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
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