26 January 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 12

Chapter 12 is the theologically heart of the book of Revelation. This chapter shows why Christians face such opposition today, but it assures us that God is victorious.

We see three main characters in this chapter:

  • The woman – The woman could symbolize Mary, Israel, the remnant of Israel, or all believers (the Church). The woman was in labor and about to birth a child. After she birthed a male child, she fled to the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God. She remained here for 1,260 days (either symbolic or literal), which represent a limited time. The sign of the woman depicts Jesus’ birth from the people of Israel and then His return to heaven after His death on the cross. This sign highlights God’s protection of His Son and His people.
  • Her male child – The child is Jesus. After the child was born, God snatched Him and placed Him on His throne.
  • The dragon – The dragon is Satan. The dragon had seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. This shows that he has power, but it is not equal to God’s power. His tail swept one-third of the stars from the sky. In Revelation, stars represent angels; this shows that Satan used angels to be his demons and to make up his army. The dragon positioned himself to devour the child when He was born, but the dragon was not quick enough because God snatched the Child up to heaven. The dragon fought against Michael and his angels, but the dragon was not strong enough to win the battle. He was hurled to earth with his angels.

The passage also mentions the woman’s offspring. The offspring are believers, the redeemed in Christ. “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11).”

No matter what Satan does, he cannot stop God’s plan. Satan has power, but it is limited. He can only do what God allows him to do.

After seeing this scene of the woman and the dragon, John witnessed a war breaking out in heaven. Michael and his angel army attacked the dragon to remove him from heaven. The dragon and his angel army fought back, but he was not strong enough. The dragon was hurled down to earth. Then John heard a loud voice rejoicing at God’s victory over Satan.

If God is victorious in the future, how can we experience that victory today? We can overcome Satan now by relying on Christ’s finished work on the cross and by persevering in faithful witness for God.

After Satan was hurled to earth, he began to pursue the woman. But in the wilderness, God cared for and protected her.

Satan tries to attack God’s people through doubt, discouragement, diversion, defeat, and delay. Satan has power, but it is nothing compared to God’s power!

Things to Think About
  • “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11).” Does this describe me?
  • Christians must be faithful witnesses for God, both with our lifestyle and our speech. How are my lifestyle and my speech reflecting my witness for God? How faithful am I to the Lord?
  • We need to be so soaked in God’s Word that we can speak His Word at any time to fight the enemy.
  • We are in a spiritual battle. Spiritual victory comes when we know the truth of God’s Word and use it to push Satan away.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“They triumphed over Him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11 NIV


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