Skip to content

The Eternal Conflict of the Ages

01/12/2015

The Eternal Conflict of the Ages
Text: Revelation 12:1-9

Revelation chapter 12 depicts the events in the spiritual realm as the Christ child was being born, it’s the great spiritual drama of the ages. Let’s see…

1. The Cast of the Great Drama. So, who are the people in Revelation twelve?

The Descriptions given.

• A Wonderful Woman! V1-2 A wonder in heaven! This is symbolism, not a literal woman, you can see that from the language – she is clothed with the sun, and has a garland of 12 stars, and she is in labour, right at the very end of her term.

• A Fearsome Dragon! V3 He is

o A Rotten, Rancid, Rabid dragon. This is a monstrous serpent. What is so ‘great’ about him, so immeasurably vast – is his awfulness, as we see in the rest of the description that ‘great’ has modified. He is…

o A Raging dragon. He’s described here as ‘fiery’ – a serpent that is determined to destroy and burn everything in his path, he is truly fearsome.

o A Red dragon. Not just his hands, but his whole person is soaked in the shed blood of the martyrs of the church?

o A Roman dragon. This dragon has seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his head. Rome, of course was the famous city of seven hills – governed by the Pontifex Maximus, one of the titles used by Julius Caesar.

o A Rebellious dragon. See what he does with that great tail of his? Casting things down, ruining and destroying what God has created. Taking God’s good gifts and distorting them to make them destructive and a curse instead of the blessing they were intended to be. Then there is …

• A Princely Child! ‘She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron’ V4 Imagine a child born with a rod in his hand, – a royal scepter, a prince, – but a rod of iron, a strong, mighty prince! This child is a King.

Identifications made. Wn does these symbolic figures represent?

• Who is this woman?

o Is it Mary? There’s a general principle in interpreting the symbolism in Revelation, and it is this, – look to the Old Testament for help. Scripture always interprets Scripture, and looking at the OT is a great help in understanding this book and this passage. So,

o Is it the church? Gen 37, Joseph’s dream. – Sun, Moon and 11 stars bowed down to Jaseph Jacob knew the interpretation of the dream – Sun, Moon, Stars. Who was Jacob? ISRAEL. Who were his sons? They were the people from whom would come God’s people Israel. They represented and embodied in themselves the whole of God’s people throughout history. Who then is the woman in this passage? THE CHURCH – the redeemed people of God in all ages. It would seem that the woman is symbolic, not any specific woman, but a woman who represents the totality of God’s people in every age.

• Who is this dragon? That too is obvious, for the text tells us in V9. The Dragon is the Devil.

• Who is this child? It is Jesus. Using the same principle, we go back to Isaiah ch 9.

So, the cast is established for us. There is a woman (the church) there is a serpent (the devil) and these is a child (the Saviour).

2. The Plot of the Great Drama. 7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought.

This is a WAR. There’s a war against ‘Christmas’ – but rest assured that it’s not ‘Christmas’ that the world hates, it’s CHRIST.

• Satan hates Jesus. He hated him in eternity past, and he hates him today. He hated Him on the cross, when he was taking away the sins of the world, and he hated him when he rose victorious from the dead, and he hates him right now.

• Satan hates the church, and Christians, and You and Me. The REAL war against Christmas is the hatred of the devil and his followers for Christ.

So, what has God done about him?

 

3. The Thrilling Conclusion of the Drama.

Now I hate to be a spoilsport, but I know how this drama is going to end, and I’m going to let you in on it, so that you too can take comfort from this.

• God Protects His Christ. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. It seems as if John just compresses the whole life of Christ into this one verse. He was born, and he ascended – just like that. So immediately, God’s protection for his Son is assured, He was caught up to God and to His throne. This child will be hated by Satan, but He cannot be harmed by Satan.

• God protects His Church. The Woman (church) is taken to a place of safety. 6 This is one of the most interesting historical references in the whole Book.

o The Jewish revolt and Destruction of the Temple. In 70AD Jerusalem was attacked by Roman forces. From the original revolt to the end of the siege was 3.5 years or one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

o But no Christians died! Luke 21:5 The Christians believed Jesus and and when the Jewish revolts happened they had left Jerusalem, Many had been driven out of Jerusalem by persecution decades earlier. When the revolt began, in A.D. 66, some of the remaining Jewish Christians fled to Pella. THE CHRISTIANS WERE OUT IN THE DESERT, SAFELY PROTECTED.

o Now, here, using this historical reference, we are being taught that the woman, the church in every age will be like those Jerusalem Christians. God will lead them to a place of safety. It will be a wilderness, a lonely place, an uncomfortable place. The church has always dwelt in uncomfortable surroundings – for we are in a hostile world. But in those circumstances God will keep his church safe, – until the day when it is glorified with Christ in heaven.

o God Overcomes His Foes. 8 we enough already to be able to understand that the devil is a defeated foe. He was defeated at Calvary. We take comfort in that.

From → Revelation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: