Revelation 12:10-12 "Then 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 brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.'
Hebrews 2:14 & 1 John 3:8 both explain how Jesus came to set us free from sin by destroying the Devil's works. Jesus' goal in coming as most loved babe in swaddling clothes was to go to the cross as a hated, common criminal. In Matthew 27:37 we read of how He conquered, and the words placed above his head: "And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
In the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation period (=1260 days Rev. 11:3-4; =Times, Times and half a time Rev. 12:14) Satan will be exclusively on earth, attempting to wipe out Israel and thwart God's plan to save and redeem Israel. Of course Satan will fail in his first plot, since ultimately all Israel will be saved as the Spirit gives them grace to look in faith upon the One whom they pierced. (Romans 11:25-26; Zechariah 12:10) Thus Satan will have to resort to plots #2 and #3.
-Plot #2 Satan's front man - Anti-Christ. 13:1-10
We see John explaining the following about this ultimate rebel against Jesus Christ:
*Satanically energized. Revelation 13:1-4
*Seeks to blaspheme God, His name, His people. Rev 13:6-10
*Schemes with a secondary figure, the second beast for false prophet in deceiving the world. Revelation 13:11-14
*Strategy is to rule the world politically, economically. Revelation 13:15-18
W.A Criswell writes concerning this Anti-Christ or "first beast rising out of the sea" of Revelation 13:1-10 - "I think the figure means that the first one arises out of social chaos and revolution. In the turmoil, strife and raging conflict of races and nations and economic orders, this great final tyrant rises to preside over the might and strength of the whole earth."3
-Plot #3 Satan's false prophet. 13:11-18
Following on the heels of plot #2, Satan will launch his third enigmatic figure - the false prophet. Anti-Christ will be Satan's front man, mainly operating more so in the political and economic sphere. Criswell notes that this second Beast will arise out of the earth, out of an established civil order.4 Clearly by the mid-point of the tribulation the Anti-Christ will have achieved the peace sought out by the world's inhabitants. The false prophet will be raised up by Satan to provide the spiritual power and persuasion to dupe the unbelieving world into worshiping the first beast or the anti-Christ.
John MacArthur notes concerning Revelation 13-14 "Rather, it stands as a warning to the unbelieving world. It challenges believers to lead careful, watchful, godly lives (cf. 1 Pet. 4:7; 2 Pet. 3:11).5 May you and I this Christmas season proclaiming the King's Conquering Gospel that Christ came to conquer sin and that Christ is coming again to conquer Satan's plots.
1. The two ordinances Jesus gave to his church to depict the Gospel: believer's baptism and the Lord's supper, emphasize both comings. In baptism I'm publicly recognizing what God did by His Spirit in calling me to prior saving faith that partakes of the power of His resurrection, the first first fruits of things to come (James 1:18) while relying on what Christ has done in His cross and resurrection. (Romans 6:4-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17) In the Lord's Supper I'm reminded in a joyful celebratory covenant meal of what Christ accomplished on the cross in His first coming while doing so until He returns. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
2. The first mention of the word "gospel" in the New Testament is found in Matthew 4:17 where Jesus begins preaching the "Gospel of the Kingdom". The middle mention of the Gospel, the Gospel of salvation, is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 where clearly Jesus' accomplished work in His first coming is in view - (died, buried, raised according to the scriptures). In Revelation 14:6-12 we see the final mention of the word Gospel (the Eternal Gospel) and the combined testimony of various angels in the latter half of the tribulation period alluding to or referring to both Christ's finished work and soon return.
3. W.A Criswell. Expository Sermons on Revelation - Volume 4. Zondervan. 1966. Page 114. Undoubtedly Criswell is referring to the 1st 3 1/2 years of the whole seven year tribulation wherein the Anti-Christ makes a peace-pact with Israel in Daniel 9:26b-27a. The world will be looking for one ruler to bring order and peace to the middle east, and the Anti-Christ will be the man they will follow.
4. W.A Criswell. Expository Sermons on Revelation - Volume 4. Zondervan. 1966. Page 114.
5. John MacArthur. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary - Revelation 12-22. Moody Press. 2000. Page 65