The effects of evil in our world-Part 2

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Revelation 12:1-12

We continue with the explanation of Revelation 12. Following the sounding of the seventh trumpet, John saw in heaven a glorious woman, who about to give birth to a child. The woman represents the true Israel-the church-the chosen people of God (1 Peter 2:9). The twelve stars of her crown represent the twelve tribes of Israel; they can also represent Christ’s twelve apostles. vv.3-4: Then John saw an enormous red dragon, which was Satan (verse 9). On his seven heads were seven crowns; the crowns were signs of the dragon’s authority. But the dragon’s authority was not his own; it has been stolen from God. And just as King Herod tried to kill the infant Christ (Matthew 2:13, 16), so did this dragon try to devour the new born child of this woman (1 Peter 5:8). v.5: The child of the woman is Christ, who will rule all nations with an iron scepter (Psalm 2:6-9). Having learned that this child was appointed to rule the nations, the dragon became angry, because he considered that all the nations of the earth belonged to him (Matthew 4:8-9). This is why the dragon tried to kill the child. But the dragon didn’t get to devour the child. The child (Christ) was snatched up to God and to his throne; that is, Christ was raised from the dead and taken up to heaven, where He was seated at the right hand of God. v.6: The woman (the church) fled to a safe place that God had prepared for her, where the dragon Satan could not devour her. There the woman could remain safely throughout the 1260 days of persecution (see Rev. 11:1-3). v.7-9: Then John saw a great struggle between the dragon Satan and God’s chief angel Michael (Daniel 12:1-3). Then the dragon-that ancient serpent called the devil (Genesis 3:1, 14-15)-and all of his evil angels were hurled to the earth (see Luke 10:18). v.10: At the defeat of Satan, there was great rejoicing in heaven. Satan here is called the accuser of our brothers.  One of Satan’s main evil works is to accuse believers before God and before each other (Job 1:8-11). Satan also leads the whole world astray (verse 9). Deception is another of Satan’s main methods of bringing harm to God’s people (Mark 13:22; 2 Cor. 11:13). Although in John’s vision the hurling of Satan to earth takes place at the end of the world, there is another sense in which Satan has already been hurled to the earth (verse 9). He has already lost his place in heaven. He has already been defeated by Christ. He can no longer successfully accuse believers before God, because through Christ they have been declared innocent and righteous in God’s sight (see Romans 8:33-34). v.11: Not only angels in heaven but also believers on earth are able to overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb; that is, because of Christ’s death for their sins, believers are no longer in bondage to Satan. Because Christ’s Holy Spirit is in them, believers are more powerful than Satan (see 1 John 4:4). Believers overcome Satan’s evil power through the faithful word of their testimony for Christ and through their firmness in faith until death. The one who does not love his own life but offers it to Christ will surely be victorious in the end (Matthew 10:32; Mark 13:13).  v.12: Because he had been thrown out of heaven, Satan was furious. His remaining time was short. He began to lash out furiously in every direction, like a wild animal surrounded by hunters.

Prayer: O God, give us the courage to confront evil. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise

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