“The War of the Ages, Pt. 3 – Satan’s Wrath, God’s Protection” – Revelation 12:13-17
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This, then, is the third scene in the drama:
"War of the Ages"
Satan knows his time is short (3.5 yrs), so his wrath is great (Vs. 12). Having no more access to heaven (Vs. 10), he vents all of his anger earthward.
Who is his favorite target?
"The woman," Israel, God's chosen people through whom "the Child" (Messiah) came. And through Messiah came salvation for the whole world that would receive Him as Lord.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
And condemnation for those who won't:
"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Let us look into John's vision of "the woman," her "Child"(Vs. 1, 5), "and the rest of her offspring" (Vs. 17) who Satan desires to destroy, but God protects.
Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
"...he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child."
* In Jewish tradition, Satan would be unleashed in a special fury against Israel in the end time.
* Satan needs to destroy the nation of Israel as the time of Messiah's return draws near; when He will establish His throne in Jerusalem and rule His everlasting kingdom.
* Scripture speaks of a living Jewish remnant. Repenting and receiving "Him" who they "pierced," at the last day.
"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn."
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
"...the woman was given two wings of a great eagle..."
* Remember that the Apostle John is writing of his vision in O.T. symbology, and this heavenly vision will be an earthly reality.
* The "two wings of a great eagle" bring to remembrance God's protection and care of Israel as they fled Egypt.
'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself.
As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings...
The "Exodus" of "the woman" (Israel) during the end times will also be strengthened "with wings like eagles."
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
"...where she is nourished for a time and times and half a times..."
* Israel is provided for in the "wilderness" 3.5 years, 1260 days (Vs. 6).
* The prophet Daniel wrote of this 3.5 year period as the "great tribulation" spoken of by the Lord Jesus, when the antichrist is unleashed (Dan. 7:25, Matt. 24:15, 21-22).
"...from the presence of the serpent."
* Satan and his antichrist fail in their attack.
This is God's method of assuring Israel and the Church of their ultimate safety during the great tribulation. Even in the face of unparalleled persecution and martyrdom.
Even in death, God will preserve His people, every effort of Satan to destroy us will be in vain.
God cares for those whom He plans to use to accomplish His purposes on earth, in the past, now and until His return.
It's true that some will lose their physical lives (Rev. 6:10-11, 12:11).
But this is to God's glory:
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
But others have been and will be spared, as was the Apostle Peter:
So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
"...water...like a flood after the woman..."
There is no direct scriptural understanding of what this flood represents other than when Isaiah wrote of the redemption of Israel.
"When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him."
A flood of water could represent any suffering, including unjust persecution (Ps. 18:3-4, Jer. 47:2).
For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him.
This "flood" is probably an outpouring of hatred and anti-Semitic and anti-Christian propaganda. Again, this is a symbolic picture of Satan's attempt to destroy God's people, both Jew and Christian.
The message is clear, Satan will do everything in his power to destroy God's people, but in vain.
But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
"...the earth helped the woman...and swallowed up the flood..."
* Scripture poetically depicts God preserving Israel during the Exodus as the earth swallowing Pharaoh and his army.
You blew with Your wind, The sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters....You stretched out Your right hand; The earth swallowed them.
(Ex. 15:10, 12)
If this "flood" is/are the armies invading and attacking Israel, then the earth opening up from a great earthquake and swallowing them is understandable (Zec. 12:8-9, 14:1-14).
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
"...the dragon was enraged with the woman..."
* Satan has always sought to destroy "the woman" (Israel) and her "male Child" since he understood his ultimate defeat was coming through Christ and His atoning death on the cross.
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."
"...he went to make war with the rest of her offspring..."
* "Offspring" - Christians, we have been grafted into spiritual Israel by the blood of Christ, and Satan's desire is to destroy us also.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman believers, both Jew and Gentile alike:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Satan full well understands this truth, he was defeated on the cross by the Lord’s sacrificial atonement (Gen. 3:15, Jn. 17:4, 19:30).
And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin....He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
(1 Jn. 3:5, 8)
Satan knows he is defeated, but still he must war against God and His people until he is cast into the lake of fire, his ultimate destination (Rev. 20:10).
Satan and his antichrist declare war on God's people, the Church, both Jew and Gentile, as well as the rest of creation. God will allow it for a season.
To His purpose:
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
And for our good:
Amen, come quickly Lord Jesus!
Your bride awaits!
Introduction to Part II Chapter thirteen continues the interlude between the sounding of the seven trumpets and the outpouring of the seven bowl judgments of God's wrath on unrepentant mankind. In chapter fourteen John's vision will show us the time of the end, where...
Introduction Chapter thirteen continues the interlude between the sounding of the seven trumpets and the outpouring of the seven bowl judgments of God's wrath on unrepentant mankind. In chapter fourteen John's vision will show us the time of the end, where God pours...