Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: Joshua 10-12
New Testament Reading: Revelation 12
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say, The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been thrown down. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; for they did not love their lives to the point of death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you with great fury, because he knows his time is short (Revelation 12:10).
In Revelation chapters twelve and thirteen, we are taken away from the physical world on earth and given a glimpse of Biblical history from the spiritual realm. The Apostle Paul said, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12).
John’s vision opens with two signs or wonders in heaven. The first is a woman giving birth to a son. Since this child is identified as Jesus Christ in verse five, this woman can be none other than the nation of Israel. Symbolically, the woman represents all the people of God, the nation of Israel in the Old Testament and the church in the New Testament.
The second sign or wonder is the image of the great red dragon. Verse nine identifies the dragon as the devil or Satan. The dragon was cast out of heaven, and he took with him a third of the angels (v4&9). (See also Isa 14:12-15 & 2 Peter 2:4) Throughout the Old Testament, the nation Israel suffered persecution as they waited in agony for the birth of the Messiah. Satan tried everything in his power to destroy the nation. He even stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born (v4). An obvious reference to King Herod’s slaughter of innocent children at the birth of Christ.
A war between Satan and Michael broke out in heaven, but the dragon could not prevail. Satan and his forces are decisively defeated. Satan lost his original ejection from heaven, he lost at the death and resurrection of Christ, and he will ultimately lose with his final destruction in the lake of fire (Rev 20:10)
In the narrative of the woman and the dragon, a pause occurs for John to record a heavenly hymn of praise to the Lamb for His victory. Believers have triumphed over Satan. Their victory is through the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony (v11). This testimony most likely refers to their lifestyle of faithfulness to Christ and willingness to take a stand for Him.
Worship and praise are central to the book of Revelation. This pause for praise within the account of the woman and the dragon comes at an important moment. Despite the dragon and furious anger, we can have victory because Christ was and is victorious. Jesus is to be praised as the One who provides redemption through His death.
Believers in any age or situation can rejoice in this victory, no matter how difficult their experiences may be. Our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of the devil; and our Savior has defeated these.