The Who's Who in RevelationApr 27, 2023
The dragon hates the Man-Child, Jesus Christ, because it was predicted from the Garden of Eden that the Child would be Satan’s undoing.
Hi everyone, I’m Tammy Becker. Welcome to the Almighty God & Gospel Girl Podcast. This is week eighteen into our series of Revelation and our podcast today is titled: The Who's Who in Revelation. My podcast today will be based on the reading of Revelation 12. And if you would like to follow along with the notes or maybe you would like to find the links to anything mentioned in the podcast today, you can go to the link in the description or by visiting www.youministries.com and visiting the corresponding page. As we get started today, I would like to remind you of my disclaimer, that as always…do not take my word, or anyone’s word for what you read…get yourself in the Bible and let God discern His Word to you. I am only human and make many mistakes and do not claim to know or understand everything in the Bible…I just hope by bringing out this study that your interest is sparked enough to get into God’s Word and begin to deep dive on your own.
In this cosmic war, John next presents a cast of characters as symbols in this final conflict between Israel and Satan after he is cast out of heaven. This is a pause in the action to describe the players in this age-old drama between good and evil, light and darkness, the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God.
Seven characters represent the natural and supernatural worlds, physical and spiritual, rulers and nations. If you want to understand the drama of Revelation, you need to be clear on the symbolic signs behind these seven cast members.
#1 THE WOMAN: ISRAEL (VV. 1-2) The entire book of Revelation revolves around this first personality. Revelation 12 describes a woman as “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of 12 stars. Then being with child (the Messiah), she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.”
Who is this woman? Genesis 37:9 decodes her identity for us, with identifying marks of the sun, moon, and stars. This woman symbolizes the nation, Israel. No one woman who has ever lived, including the virgin Mary, can fit into this symbol. Neither is this the church of all ages.
The woman is being tormented. Certainly, Israel has suffered satanic ant-iSemitism from Jesus’ birth to the present. Satan knew Jesus Christ would come from this nation and has hated Israel from the start. (See Genesis 3:15.)
To get away from Satan, this woman runs to the wilderness, where God has prepared a place for her. During the most intense part of the Great Tribulation, God protects this remnant of Israel.
#2 THE RED DRAGON: SATAN (VV. 3-4) The second character is the red dragon. We must take this symbol for Satan very seriously, not as a comic strip characterization. We know this is symbolic of Satan because Revelation 12:9 tells us so. The red dragon is clearly identified as Satan “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.”
In this second sign, we see Satan’s true character with all the wrappings removed. He’s called “great” because he has vast power. He controls the nations of the world and tempted the Lord Jesus with them if He would only worship him (see Matthew 4:8-9). Worship is Satan’s ultimate goal. The kingdoms of this world are his, and he controls them today.
The symbolic dragon is “red” because Satan has been a murderer from the beginning (see John 8:44) with no regard for human life. He is called a “dragon” because of his vicious character. Originally, he was created as Lucifer, son of the morning (see Ezekiel 28:12-19), but he is now the epitome of evil and the depth of degradation. He is the most dangerous being in all of God’s creation.
The dragon’s seven heads suggest the perfection of wisdom which characterized Satan when he was the “covering cherub.” Ezekiel 28:12 said in his origin, Satan was “… full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” He’s smart and clever and wise. We’re no match for him. If we stand against him in our own strength, we will fail. His ten horns suggest the final division of the Roman Empire, which is dominated by Satan and his final effort to rule the world. The crowns represent kingly authority and rulership.
Can’t you just picture this hideous dragon, sweeping his tail across the sky and dragging away a third of the stars of heaven? This of course pictures the extent of the rebellion in heaven when one third of the angelic host followed Satan to their own destruction (see Daniel 8:10; Jude 1:6).
The dragon hates the Man-Child, Jesus Christ, because it was predicted from the Garden of Eden that the Child would be Satan’s undoing (see Genesis 3:15). He waits for the woman to give birth so he can devour the child.
#3 THE CHILD OF THE WOMAN: JESUS CHRIST (VV. 5-6) The wonderful “male child” is the Lord Jesus Christ, who will “rule all nations with a rod of iron.” When Jesus Christ returns, He will put down all rebellion on the earth. How will He do it? He will break them with a rod of iron and shatter them like pieces of pottery (see Psalm 2:9).
“And her Child was caught up to God and His throne” speaks of Jesus’ ascension. The Gospels emphasize the death of Christ. The Epistles emphasize the resurrection of Christ. And Revelation emphasizes His ascension.
The Revelation unveils the ascended Christ, the glorified Christ, the Christ who is coming in glory. The Revelation rests on the fact of the Ascension. He is the One who has been opening the seals that have brought to pass everything that has happened.
#4 MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL WARS WITH THE DRAGON (VV. 7-12) It’s hard to imagine, but John tells us “war broke out in heaven.” Up to this point, Satan still has access to heaven and, as long as he does, there will trouble. Evidently Satan appeared before God and was able to be heard. Remember how he accused Job (Job 1-2) and Peter (Luke 22:31)?
This creature warring against God in heaven is no other than “the old serpent” from the Garden of Eden. He’s called devil, meaning “slanderer or accuser.” He is the Satan, “the adversary.” During the Great Tribulation, Satan will be able to completely deceive men (today he deceives only partially, relative to God and the Word of God). He caused Eve to distrust God: “Has God said you should not eat of that tree? You just can’t trust Him, can you?” (see Genesis 3:1-5). Satan tries to deceive us, making us think we are better than we are. He builds us up and tells us we can become gods and how wonderful that would be. But it’s all a trap. He despises us because God loves us. This is the dragon battling heaven.
Then up steps Michael, an archangel, whose specific ministry is to protect Israel (Daniel 10:13). Once again, a fierce struggle breaks out, since Satan won’t back off easily. But Michael and his angels prevail, and Satan and his angels are thrown out of heaven (see Luke 10:18). And a mighty cheer breaks out in heaven from among the redeemed.
This is the first great demonstration of power to be exerted against evil since Jesus’ death and resurrection. He paved the way for Satan being cast out of heaven. This is the beginning of the movement that will eventually lead to the Lord Jesus taking over the reins of government on earth.
Though the redeemed in heaven are celebrating Satan, the treacherous, dangerous, and deadly serpent being thrown out forever, there is anguish on the earth. This is the third woe that extends through the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath. The only consolation is that everyone knows, including Satan, that his sojourn on earth will be brief and intense—just 42 months.
THE DRAGON PERSECUTES THE WOMAN (VV. 13-16) When the dragon lands on earth, he immediately goes after the woman (Israel). This is the last wave of anti-Semitism, called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, that will roll over the world, and it will be the worst. Satan knows his time is short. He hates Israel because Jesus Christ, the man, came from this nation.
God protects the woman by flying her to safety in the wilderness on the wings of a great eagle. This picture reminds Israel of the times God has rescued them in the past (Exodus 19:4). Here again in the Great Tribulation, Israel can’t deliver themselves, nor is anyone willing to help them. But God will get them out on eagles’ wings by His grace. He will provide for them and sustain them with manna from heaven and water from the rock, possibly the same way He did for Israel when they wandered in the wilderness in Exodus.
Satan, as the dragon, will still try to destroy Israel using every means possible. No one can stop him but God. In Ezekiel’s picture of the last days, the king of the north is seen marching on Israel, with nothing to stop him. God destroys the enemy with natural forces when he invades Israel (Ezekiel 38:22).
#5 THE REMNANT (V. 17) When the dragon sees how God protects the woman, he shifts his strategy of attack and goes after “the rest of her offspring”—perhaps the remnant who is God’s witness in this period: The 144,000 who have been sealed. They are obeying God, holding firmly to the testimony of Jesus, and sharing the good news throughout the world. They are now more than ever in Satan’s bull’s eye. Every act of anti-Semitism is inspired by Satan, and now this is his supreme effort to destroy the nation of Israel. From the brickyards of Pharaoh’s Egypt, Haman’s gallows, Herod’s cruel edict, through Hitler’s purge, and to the world of the Great Tribulation, Satan has led the attack against these people—all because of the Man-Child, Jesus Christ.
#6 & 7 THE FINAL TWO (CH. 13) The final two personalities in this cosmic drama are similar to the dragon, because they are both empowered and controlled by Satan. The first symbolic character is a wild beast out of the sea. He represents political power and is the Antichrist. The second symbolic character is the wild beast out of the earth—a religious leader who leads the world in worship of the Antichrist. This is now the midpoint of the Tribulation when the Antichrist sets himself up as God (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Next week we will meet the fial two of the seven players in all this.
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