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Sunday, December 17th, 2017 - AM - What Made the Devil So Mad (Rev. 12:13-17)

Rejoicing Through Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:19
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The devil is powerful, but God's power is greater.

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Introduction:

Illustration -
Everlasting Arms, Overshadowing Wings
The best way to handle danger is simply to be where God tells you to be. When physician L. Nelson Bell and his wife Virginia felt God calling them to China as missionaries, they gave scant thought to danger. It came upon them nonetheless in the form of the Japanese invasion of China. The Bells were in Tsingkiangpu, the provincial capital of Kiangsu, and the enemy advanced against them from all four directions. Older missionaries urged the Bells to flee, for the Japanese were known for their cruelty.
But Dr. Bell had been studying the Old Testament, especially Psalms, Proverbs, and Isaiah, and he developed a strong conviction that it was God’s will for them to remain in Tsingkiangpu. Virginia agreed, writing to her mother in America, “The children are just as happy as can be, and if things come to worst here, I’m going to stick right with them and keep them happily engaged. Our God is able, and that ‘Restraining Hand’ is all-loving and all-powerful.”
Dr. Bell later wrote that the decision to remain “deepened and confirmed our sense of the closeness of God. He was right there with us. Underneath with everlasting arms, over us with overshadowing wings—we were conscious of His peace and presence in a way that I don’t think we would ever have been otherwise. There was prayer, constant prayer, in our heart. And also constant thanksgiving and praise for the consciousness of His presence. You had no one else to depend on. It was a sense of safety within His keeping.”
[Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), 381–382.]
Main Thought: The servants of God will be secured by God accomplish His purposes upon the earth.
The servants of God will be secured by God accomplish His purposes upon the earth.
[Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 604.]
Sub-intro:
Explain the Context - The war in heaven has led to the expulsion of the dragon who now brings his war upon the earth.
Body:

I. The Dragon’s Focused Fierceness ().

Revelation 12:13 KJV 1900
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
[Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 499.]
Matthew 24:21 KJV 1900
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Matthew 24:15–20 KJV 1900
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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

A. His Perception of Judgment (v. 13a).

Having been defeated by the perfect life of the Saviour, His work on the cross, subsequent death, resurrection and ascension, and now by expulsion from Heaven, the Devil focused his wrath on the nation through whom his Victor came.
[Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 499.]

B. His Persecution of the Woman (v. 13b).

Note - this persecution of the Jewish nation is all according to the Lord’s prediction:
Matthew 24:21 KJV 1900
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Matthew 24:15–20 KJV 1900
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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
Luke 21:20–21 KJV 1900
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
Lk. 21:20-21

II. The Woman’s Flight to Freedom ().

Revelation 12:14 KJV 1900
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.

A. On Eagles’ Wings (v. 14a).

Isaiah 40:31 KJV 1900
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.
Exodus 19:4 KJV 1900
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
Deuteronomy 32:11 KJV 1900
As an eagle stirreth up her nest, Fluttereth over her young, Spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, Beareth them on her wings:

B. Her Place of Nourishment (v. 14b).

Note - the play on the word “place” within the text - candlestick’s (), islands (), Woman (, ), Angels (), Armageddon’s (), & the Sinner’s lack of a place ().
Note - it is also passive “she is nourished”
Note - Hebraic parallels between and .
Note - 3&1/2 years corresponds to -
Daniel 7:25 KJV 1900
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Daniel 9:27 KJV 1900
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Daniel 12:7 KJV 1900
And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
Dan. 9:27
Note - “from the face of the serpent” which offered Eve such false hope now glares upon Israel with hateful wrath.
2 Corinthians 11:14 KJV 1900
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

III. The Dragon’s Foul Flood ().

A. Intent on Drowning the Woman ().

Revelation 12:15 KJV 1900
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.
Note - Perhaps a fulfillment of - (though water may also be literal here, see , )
Isaiah 59:19 KJV 1900
So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, And his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
Is.
Luke 21:20–24 KJV 1900
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

B. Intercepted by the Earth ().

Revelation 12:16 KJV 1900
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.
Note - word study on “helped” -
Matthew 15:25 KJV 1900
Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Mark 9:22 KJV 1900
And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
Mk. 9:22
Mark 9:24 KJV 1900
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Acts 16:9 KJV 1900
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Acts 21:28 KJV 1900
Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV 1900
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Acts 21:
Hebrews 2:18 KJV 1900
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

IV. The Dragon’s Furious Fighting ().

Revelation 12:17 KJV 1900
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.

A. Wrath Upon the Woman (v. 17a).

Messiah’s Birth
Tribulation
Nation of Israel Born in a Day

B. War with Her Remnant (v. 17b).

The Reasons - Commandment Keepers & Witness Bearers
a
The divine protection given the woman enraged the dragon even more, but all he could do was redirect his animosity: ...The dragon had to redirect his anger from the Son to the woman in 12:5 when the Son escaped his clutches. That increased his rage. He lost his place in heaven in 12:8, 9, 12, angering him even more. At this point the woman has escaped to a place of refuge, leaving him only the woman’s remaining seed to vent his fury on. The repeated frustration of his efforts explains the furious persecution the dragon proceeds to inflict on the faithful. He goes away “to make war with” ...“the rest of her seed” ...who apparently did not go with their fellow Israelites to the place of refuge. Besides the Son, the woman, earlier identified as national Israel, has other children who are distinguished from the group of Jewish people whom the dragon cannot touch. These are scattered followers of the Lamb who did not reach the appointed place in the wilderness prepared for the main body of people symbolized by the woman.
[Robert L. Thomas, : An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1995), 141.]
a
...this remnant are those who (1) “keep the commandments of God,” and (2) “have the testimony of Jesus.” These clearly are Jews converted to Christ. One of the great purposes of the Tribulation is precisely to that end. As the two witnesses preached and the 144,000 are converted, they in turn fan out preaching the gospel to the Jew first and then to any gentiles who will listen.
It is clear that the Olivet Discourse as recorded in and is directed to believing Jews in that day. They will have turned to Christ and are just beginning to explore the New Testament. The Holy Spirit, perhaps working through the 144,000 witnesses, may direct their attention to the Olivet Discourse to give them guidance as to what is taking place about them.
It is to this remnant of believing Jews that the devil turns the fury of His wrath.
[David H. Sorenson, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary - Hebrews through Revelation, vol. 11, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary (Northstar Ministries, 2007), 464.]

Conclusion:

a
The LORD will bring a remnant out of the Tribulation (cf. ). Paul confirmed this truth, stating, “Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved” (). This saved remnant will enter into the Millennium as a nation born in a day, Isaiah predicted, saying, “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” ().
[Strouse, 507.]
Note - The Chronology of the events of the prophecy of this chapter -
Messiah’s Birth
Tribulation
Nation of Israel Born in a Day, at the outset of the Millennium
Therefore, when Israel became a nation on May 14th, 1948, it was NOT a fulfillment of this prophecy!
What happens after the Dragon suffers ultimate failure here in Chapter 12? He will be imprisoned in the bottomless pit for a thousand years and then ultimately thrown into the Lake of Fire:
Rev. 20:1-3
Revelation 20:1–3 KJV 1900
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Revelation 20:10 KJV 1900
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
a
Satan is powerful, but God’s power is greater. God is on our side no matter who is against us (). If God lives within us, we are greater than he (Satan) who is in the world. With God’s power, we can overcome all sin and be what God wants us to be.
[Croft M. Pentz, Outlines on Revelation, Sermon Outline Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978), 47.]
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