From Revelation 9-12
In today’s passage the dragon was conquered by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. This is something to rejoice in. The forces of evil in the world were defeated in the death of Christ. They have been defeated. Something to remember if in spiritual conflict. Satan is angry because his time is coming to an end.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
John’s vision moves from the throne room and the judgment which occurred when the lamb opened the scroll. He now sees a sign in heaven. In Rev 12.1-6, there is a woman in heaven giving birth to a child. A red dragon is awaiting the birth of the child so he may devour it. The woman gives birth to a male child who is to rule all the nations. The child is caught up to heaven with God and the woman flees the dragon into the wilderness and is nourished for 1260 days (cf. Rev 11.3).
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Rev 12.7-9)
After the woman and the child get away, the dragon has a big fight in heaven.
He loses of course because God is bigger and meaner.
We find out the dragon is Satan. That’s why he lost, he’s only good at lying, deceiving and accusing people.
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Rev 12.10-12)
Its interesting the role Satan has. He accuses God’s people, constantly judges and criticises them. No wonder God doesn’t like him.
Who is it that conquered the dragon? The text says the ‘they’ meaning the brothers. The same ones Satan accuses. My guess is they are God’s people – everyday believers. Its the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony that conquers the dragon. Strange weapons. Paul thinks of the word of God as a sword. Strange but formidable weapons.
The blood of the lamb conquered the dragon. Through Jesus’ blood and death, sin lost its hold on God’s people and lost its power. They were no longer held captive to the dominions of sin, death and the Devil. When Satan thought he had won his greatest victory, he couldn’t have been more mistaken.
When Jesus died on the cross, Satan lost the whole war.
The testimony of the brothers conquered the lamb. Their testimony is the gospel. The gospel (the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection) is the power of salvation. The story of the lamb defeats the Devil.
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. (Rev 12.13-17)
The imagery John is using here has given rise to several interpretations which I will have a guess at (not looking at commentaries). I assume the imagery represents various people. I’ve read ahead and created a table of some options. If you have any other variations please suggest away.
Escapes to wilderness
Nourished in wilderness
Helped by the earth
Woman has more offspring
|Woman’s Offspring||Brothers and Sisters of Jesus||Brothers and Sisters of Jesus?||God’s people
Heaven with God
Fails to devour the child
Loses fight in heaven
Pursues the woman
Pursues woman’s offspring
|Dragon||Herod||Demonic persecution of God’s people|
|Michael / Angels
Kick Satan’s butt
|Angels||?||Cosmic Battle that Jesus won in heavenly realms?|
Verse 17 seems to apply to the remaining believers on the earth. That probably includes us as well. The dragon, Satan wants to tear us down. But he has lost many battles and indeed the whole world. One day his time will be over because the child will come back from heaven.
The dragon was conquered by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. This is something to rejoice in. The forces of evil in the world were defeated in the death of Christ. They have been defeated. Something to remember if in spiritual conflict. Satan is angry because his time is coming to an end.
The other weapon is something we can focus on as well. Their ‘testimony’. I’ve stated the testimony of the brothers is the gospel itself. The apostles were witnesses to Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension. Their testimony tells the story of what happened to Jesus and predicts his return. I don’t think Satan likes hearing the tale of how he was defeated. The blood and cross of Jesus still have power.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights