Revelation 12:3-4 "Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child."
Demons, Angels and the war in the heavenlies
John, the human author of the Book of Revelation (along with the Divine Author, God the Holy Spirit), takes us now into "Episode Two" of this grand vision of history leading up to and beyond that first Christmas night. We saw yesterday the significance of Christmas in Revelation and began looking at Revelation 12. As we will see today, in-as-much-as Christ's 1st advent was a historical event - it also was a cosmic one. Jesus came in the virgin's womb through the virgin conception - resulting in His uniting of a truly human nature to His Person. He came to redeem fallen humanity.
However, the Son's incarnation also affected the spiritual realms. It is here that we get a clear view of the origin of the demonic realm, the great fight in the heavenly realms leading up to Christ's birth, and the warfare that will continue until the end of time.
1. The Great Red Dragon. This is none other than Satan himself. We see him appearing as a serpent in Genesis 3:1. His nature as a Dragon, as "that serpent of old", is full and complete, as seen in the repetition of the number seven. According to Old Testament passages such as Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, Satan was not always Satan. He was created as an angel, a chief Angel, perhaps the chief choir director of the angelic hosts. He was "Lucifer", the "enlightened one", who in focusing upon his created beauty became prideful.
2. A third of the stars. According to John, Lucifer rebelled and seduced 1/3 of the angelic host to follow him in a massive revolt in heaven. This revolt might very well had occured either between days 1 and three of the creation days described in Genesis 1, Psalm 104 or perhaps shortly after the completion of the creation described in those same chapters. We know that angels are described as "stars" since we see such description in Job 38:7.
Some of these "fallen ones", these demons, had rebelled so badly as to "lose their former estate" and were chained in the darkest regions until the time of the final judgment. (Jude 6) Others of these fallen angels were permitted by God to roam over the earth and torment people, as seen in the eight or nine occassions where Jesus performed exorcisms in Matthew, Mark Luke and John.
Lucifer Himself is currently "Prince of the power of the air" and "a god of this age". (2 Corinthians 4:1-6). He is roaming to and fro over the earth, along with his demonic hoards, seeing whom he may torment, destroy and blind to the truth of God. (1 Peter 5:8).
3. Stood in front of the woman. John next writes that This Dragon stood in front of the woman, awaiting to devour her child. Clearly Satan, though powerful, is still a creature, being that he did not know when exactly the day nor hour would occur for Jesus to enter into this world. He is behind the persecutions of the Jews throughout the Old Testament. Galatians 4:4 tells us that Jesus was born into this world in the fulness of time. Despite the Old Serpent's best efforts, the Christ-child was born.
4. The One born a king will rule as The King In Revelation 12:5-6, we see a summary statement from the moment of Christ's birth in Bethlehem to when He will return to earth to rule and reign as King. Satan will attempt to destroy Israel in the days leading up to Christ's return. God will have provision for protecting her in the last 3 1/2 years leading up to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
5. Christmas reminds us that God finishes what He begins, He has defeated the enemy
Just as God would accomplish His purpose in the birth of Christ in His first coming, the purpose of God will reign supreme in the Second coming. The outcome of the warfare is sure. Christmas reminds us of the victory of God in Jesus Christ: His birth declared victory; His cross won victory; His resurrection and ascension confirmed victory; His word communicates victory and the soon return will demonstrate to all that He alone is the victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
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Sunday, December 13, 2015
The victory of Christmas proclaimed in Revelation
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