Revelation 12, the war in heavens.
VV 1-2, 1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
Revelation 12 is colourful, dramatic, full of suspense, and interesting to read. John saw a great sign in heaven. The woman in labor speak of Israel, the 12 stars speak of the 12 tribes of Israel, and the child speaks of Jesus.
VV 3-6, 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
John saw another sign in heaven. The fiery red dragon speaks of satan. 7 heads speak of the 7 empires that occupied Israel in the past, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medes, Persia, Greece, and Romans. 7 heads also speak of Rome, the city of 7 hills. Most biblical scholars and commentators were of the view that the 10 horns speak of the revived Roman Empire, the EU, formed in 1950 with 6 member countries. This was increased to 9 in 1973 and 28 in 2013. On 31/1/2020, this was reduced to 27 with Brexit. It will be interesting to watch how history unfold between now and the 7-year tribulation. Will the final number of EU member countries be reduced to 10?
Satan’s tail threw out 1/3 of the stars from heaven to earth. This speaks of Satan’s rebellion against God in heaven and 1/3 of the angels followed him to become his demons. Satan was ready to kill Christ as soon as He was born but did not succeed. Christ was born in Bethlehem, died on the cross in Calvary, resurrected to life on Easter, and ascended to God’s throne in heaven forty days after Easter. During the last 3 1/2 years of the 7-year tribulation, God protected a remnant of the believing Jews by taking them into a special place in the wilderness.
VV 7-9, 7 And war broke out in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out to earth with him.
Archangel Micheal and his angels waged war against satan and his demons in heaven, defeated them, and cast them out to the earth. Satan is also called the dragon, serpent or devil. Michael means ‘’who is like God?’’ Satan or Lucifer was once an angel of God but he rebelled against God and was cast out from heaven. Isaiah 14:12-15, “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens, I will raise my throne above the stars of God, I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit”.
VV 10-12, 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
A loud voice from heaven said, satan, who accused Christian day and night before God, had been cast down. Satan’s accusations and condemnations drives us away from from church, from bible study, from prayer, and worship. The Holy Spirit’s conviction draws us closer to God. Romans 8:1, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”.
Christians triumphed over satan’s accusations by the blood of Christ, by the word of God, by their testimonies, and by not living for themselves. The blood of Christ paid the wages of sin, Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Knowing that his time is short, satan became furious and started to persecute the people on earth with increased intensity.
VV 13-17, 13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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.
Satan persecuted Israel (woman) but God protected her by taking her to a special place in the wilderness and protect her. Most biblical scholars and commentators believed this place to be Petra, a fortified rock city in Jordan, and one of the 7 wonders of the world. God will feed, protect and look after her there during the last 3 1/2 years of the 7-year tribulation until the second coming of Christ. Satan will cause a flood to drown her but God will open up the earth to swallow up the flood. Satan was enraged will continue to wage war Israel with increased intensity.