Revelation 12

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 26, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

The apostle John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.

He saw Jesus take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.

As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place on the earth and the time that we call the Tribulation begins to unfold.

The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.

Built within the seventh seal were seven trumpets, and the last three trumpets bring such bad things they are called the three “woes”.  We’ve just heard the seventh trumpet.

12:1-6 The Woman and the Dragon

: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.

:1 signsemeion – a sign, mark, token

What does this mean that a “sign” appeared in heaven?  Is it a big traffic sign?

It means that what we’re going to read about is symbolic.

Not all of Revelation is meant to be taken symbolically, but here we are told that we need to look at these events of the next couple of chapters as symbolic.

We are going to see layers of things - things happening on earth, things happening in heaven, all describing things that are happening at the same time, intertwined.

:1 in heaven

Be careful as you read through this.  Symbolic, heavenly things are not always “linear” in all it describes. 

We’re going to see things described that aren’t always in chronological order, but John is painting “layers” on top of one another as he describes these symbols.

:1 womangune – a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow

:1 clothedperiballo – to throw around, to put around; to clothe one with a thing

:1 garlandstephanos – a crown; the wreath or garland which was given as a prize to victors in public games; that which is an ornament and honor to one

:2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.

:2 with childgaster – the belly; the womb; the stomach

:2 she cried outkrazo – to croak; hence, to cry out, cry aloud, vociferate; to cry; cry out aloud, speak with a loud voice

:2 in laborodino – to feel the pains of child birth, to travail

:2 in painbasanizo – to test (metals) by the touchstone, to question by applying torture; to torture; to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment

:2 to give birthtikto – to bring forth, bear, produce (fruit from the seed); of a woman giving birth

:1 woman … sun … moon … twelve stars

Here’s the first character in the symbolic story.

Who is this “woman”?

She will be identified partly from giving birth to the Messiah.

Though some see this as Mary, it’s better to see it as the nation of Israel.

A clue to her identity comes from identifying the child she is going to give birth to:

(Re 12:5 NKJV) She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron…
This is the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The Christian Scientists believe this is Mary Baker Eddy.  I don’t think so.

The Catholic Church says that this is the Virgin Mary. 

A better idea is that the “woman” is the nation of Israel.

This idea fits better with the rest of the text (like fleeing into the wilderness).
We see a similar picture in one of the dreams of Joseph:
(Ge 37:9 NKJV) Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”

Jacob knew what his son Joseph’s dream meant.  It was a picture of Jacob’s family bowing down before Joseph.

The picture that John is watching is of the nation of Israel giving birth to the Messiah.

: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.

:3 signsemeion – a sign, mark, token

:3 dragondrakon – a dragon, a great serpent, a name for Satan

:3 fiery redpurrhos – having the color of fire, red

:3 fiery red dragon

Now we’re introduced to the second major player in the story… Satan.

This is Satan.  He is identified later on…

(Re 12:9 NKJV) So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan…

:3 diademsdiadema –the kingly crown

The stephanos was a badge of “victory”.  The diadema was a badge of royalty.

:3 seven heads … ten horns …seven diadems

This is a picture of Satan’s huge authority on the earth.

Heads speak of empires, horns speak of kings.  More when we get to Rev. 17.

We will see similar imagery when we get to Revelation 17 and a description of a “scarlet beast” that has a woman riding on it.

(Re 17:3 NKJV) —3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
This beast will be synonymous with the antichrist because he is described as:

(Re 17:8 NKJV) —8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Yet because of the close connection between Satan and the antichrist, there are some clues that might give clarity to the heads and horns.

(Re 17:9–12 NKJV) —9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. 12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.

The “beast” in Rev. 17 will clearly be a picture of the antichrist, who we have already identified as having a direct connection with Satan.
The “heads” might refer to worldwide empires through history (we’ll get more specific in Rev. 17)
The ten horns refer to ten specific kings that will be involved in a latter day empire.
Daniel has a similar prophecy about a latter day kingdom tied with the antichrist:

(Da 7:24 NKJV) The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings.

The point is that this “dragon” has a lot of influence.

Remember what Satan told Jesus?
(Lk 4:6–7 NKJV) —6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”

: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.

:4 tailoura – a tail

:4 drewsuro – to draw, drag

:4 a third of the stars of heaven

We believe this is talking about the great revolt in heaven when Satan rebelled against God and a third of the angels followed him.

Those angels that followed Satan’s rebellion are called “fallen angels”, or “demons”.

When did this take place historically?

We believe it took place before the Garden of Eden.  In the Garden, Satan is already evil.


More on our side

Did you pay attention to the numbers here?
1/3 of the angels is a pretty hefty army, and this means that Satan has a powerful army at his disposal, but there’s still twice as many angels on God’s side.
When the king of Israel tried to have Elisha arrested, Elisha told his servant:
(2 Ki 6:16 NKJV) So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Elisha was comparing the size of the arrest party versus the angels protecting him, but even if the King of Israel had all of Satan’s demons with him, God’s side is still bigger.

We have this promise:
(1 Jn 4:4 NKJV) You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Even without the angelic armies, God alone is greater than Satan and all his demonic horde.

:4 to devour her Child

This reminds us of what Satan tried to do when Jesus was born, when Herod tried to kill all the babies born in Bethlehem around the time of Jesus (Mat. 2).

When the wise men first showed up in Jerusalem, they started asking questions about the birth of the “King of the Jews”.  King Herod was a bit threatened with this news…

(Mt 2:7–8 NKJV) —7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
Of course Herod didn’t want to worship the baby, he wanted to kill the baby.

The wise men didn’t return to tell Herod about the child …

(Mt 2:16–18 NKJV) —16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”
But Jesus wasn’t killed in this slaughter because his parents had been warned in a dream and Joseph had taken the family to Egypt.

: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.

:5 boretikto – to bring forth, bear, produce (fruit from the seed); of a woman giving birth

:5 malearrhen – a male

:5 Childhuios – a son

:5 wasmello – to be about

:5 to rulepoimaino – to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep; to rule, govern

Israel’s rulers are traditionally called “shepherds”.

Perhaps this is because the Israelis were originally shepherds with flocks :
(Ge 47:3 NKJV) —3 Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and also our fathers.”
Perhaps it is because David was a shepherd:
(1 Sa 16:11 NKJV) —11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.”

:5 to rule all nations with a rod of iron

This is a description of what the Messiah would one day do – rule the nations. (Ps. 2)

(Ps 2:9 NKJV) —9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”
(Re 19:15 NKJV) —15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

This speaks of not only a good government, but a strong government.

Nobody will get away with anything when Jesus rules this earth.
Nobody will be arrested who isn’t truly guilty.
Nobody will go free who isn’t truly guilty.

:5 caught upharpazo – to seize, carry off by force; to snatch out or away

This is the same word that’s used to describe the Rapture:

(1 Th 4:17 NKJV) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

:5 her Child was caught up

Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection. (Ac 1:9)

(Ac 1:9 NKJV) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

: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.

:6 fledpheugo – to flee away, seek safety by flight

:6 wildernesseremos – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited; a desert, wilderness

:6 fled into the wilderness

This is an example of what we call “prophetic telescoping”.  We have just skipped 2,000 years between verses 5 & 6.  Prophecies do that.  Get used to it.

There can be within prophecy hops and skips of thousands of year between verses in a paragraph.  It is not uncommon in prophecies that we are sure of (like Dan. 9; Is. 61)
In verse 5 Jesus ascends into heaven, and two thousand years later, in verse 6 Israel flees into the wilderness.

We usually think of the “wilderness” in Israeli terms – the areas in the south and east.

The same word for “fled” (pheugo) is used by Jesus in connection to the end times:

(Mt 24:15–16 NKJV) —15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
This is that time marker we’ve discussed before – the abomination of desolation – that takes place in the middle of the seven year Tribulation period, 3 ˝ years into it.  This is when Israel, the woman, flees.

:6 preparedhetoimazo – to make ready, prepare

:6 a place prepared by God

Some have suggested that this “place” might be the ancient city of Petra, also known as “Sela” (Is. 16).  You know it from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.

Isaiah 16 is an odd prophecy that seems to place a group of “outcast” Jews in this remote city in modern Jordan.
You know it from the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”
This idea comes from:
(Is 16:1–2 NKJV) —1 Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, From Sela to the wilderness, To the mount of the daughter of Zion. 2 For it shall be as a wandering bird thrown out of the nest; So shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.

The idea is that a gift is sent from Sela to the fleeing Jews telling them that this is a place to hide.

Jesus told the Jewish people that when they see the “abomination of desolation”, that they will flee to the wilderness.  Those Jews who have come to believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah will take His words seriously and flee across the border to modern Jordan to the ancient fortress city.  Another clue is found in:

(Is 16:4 NKJV) —4 Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; Be a shelter to them from the face of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end, Devastation ceases, The oppressors are consumed out of the land.

Sela is located in the ancient country of Moab.

Another possibility is the ancient city of Bozrah, one of the ancient capitals of Edom.  It appears that when Jesus returns, this is one of the places that He visits as He conquers His enemies (Is. 63:1-4)

(Is 63:1–4 NKJV) —1 Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come.
It has been suggested that when Jesus first returns to the earth, He doesn’t arrive first in Jerusalem (arriving at the Mount of Olives happens after He’s already on earth), but in Jordan to rescue His captive people, and then from Jordan, He will move to retake Jerusalem.

A last possibility is an area to the north that covers Jordan and southern Syria named “Kedar” which is “rejoicing” when the Lord comes back (Is. 42:11).

(Is 42:10–13 NKJV) —10 Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise from the ends of the earth, You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, You coastlands and you inhabitants of them! 11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, The villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, Let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12 Let them give glory to the Lord, And declare His praise in the coastlands. 13 The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.

Play map video – “Wilderness Refuges”

:6 they should feedtrepho – to nourish, support; feed

:6 one thousand two hundred and sixty days

Again we see 3 ˝ years.  This group of refugee Jews will be hiding out for the remainder of the Tribulation before Jesus comes back.

12:7-12  Heaven’s War

:7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,

:7 warpolemos – a war; a fight, a battle

:7 Michael – “who is like God”

This is the “head” angel, the archangel Michael (Jude 9)

One of his job duties is to guard the nation of Israel. (Dan. 12:1)

(Da 12:1 NKJV) “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.

:7 foughtpolemeo – to war, carry on war; to fight

:8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

:8 prevailischuo – to be strong; to have power; to exert, wield power, to have strength to overcome

: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 with him.

:9 cast outballo – to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to scatter, to throw, cast into

:9 serpentophis – snake, serpent

:9 serpent of old

John is referring to Satan’s role in the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 3)

Satan was the serpent that tempted Eve into eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

:9 Devildiabolos – prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely

:9 SatanSatanas – adversary

:9 deceivesplanao – to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way

:9 worldoikoumene – the inhabited earth; the universe, the world

:9 he was cast to the earth

There are some who picture Satan sitting in hell ruling over his kingdom from there.

The truth is that Satan still has access to heaven where he accuses us before God.

It’s not until the middle of the Tribulation that Satan is removed from heaven.

I think there may be a coincidence with the timing the antichrist’s declaration that he is “god” with the falling to earth of Satan.

After all, the abomination of desolation sounds an awful lot like Satan:

(2 Th 2:4 NKJV) —4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

: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.

:10 salvationsoteria – deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation

:10 strengthdunamis – strength, power, ability

:10 powerexousia – power of choice; authority

:10 accuserkategoros – an accuser; a name given to the devil by the rabbis

:10 the power of His Christ have come

I wonder if this doesn’t tie in with the things that are declared at the seventh trumpet.

(Re 11:15–17 NKJV) —15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.

:10 the accuser of our brethren


The Courtroom

There is a sense in which heaven is pictured as a courtroom.
God the Father is the judge.
Satan is the prosecuting attorney, whose job is to present the case against you.
He’s not a very ethical prosecutor – he not only presents the factual case of what you have done, but he also manufactures lies about you as well.
You generally know when Satan is presenting his case before the judge, because those are the times when you are overwhelmed with condemnation.

Satan’s accusations against you are meant to alienate you from God and to think that God no longer cares for you and that you are no longer worthy to be God’s child.

If you find yourself in court, it’s a good idea to get a good defense attorney.
Jesus is our defense attorney.

(1 Jn 2:1b NKJV)…And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

(Ro 8:33–34 NKJV) —33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

(Ro 8:1 NKJV) —1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

: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.

:11 overcamenikao – to conquer

:11 wordlogos – word

:11 testimonymarturia – a testifying; what one testifies, testimony, i.e. before a judge

:11 loveagapao – to love, to feel and exhibit esteem and goodwill to a person, to prize and delight in a thing.

:11 livespsuche – breath; life; the soul

:11 they overcame him


Our weapons

It might seem like Michael is doing the fighting in heaven, but the descriptions of these weapons are things that belong to men, not angels.
Angels are not creatures that can “die”.

The phrase “they did not love their lives to the death” refers to humans, not angels.

We have a part in the warfare of heaven.
What we do on earth impacts what happens in heaven.
Jesus taught us that our prayers affect what happens in heaven:
(Mt 18:18 NKJV) “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

We’ll talk more about the weapons in a minute…

You see an example of this when Jesus sent out the seventy with authority to cast out demons.
(Lk 10:17–18 NKJV) —17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
We need to recognize the nature of the real enemy.  Paul wrote,
(Eph 6:12 NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

You might get angry with certain people who cause you pain or grief, but they are not your real enemy.  Your real enemy is a spiritual one.

The people we struggle with are only pawns on the chessboard being moved by a master chess player.

(2 Ti 2:24–26 NLT) —24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

Paul tells us that we don’t have ordinary weapons:
(2 Co 10:4 NKJV) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

Our weaponry does not involve things that hurt people, but things that hurt the spiritual powers around us.

: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.”

:12 rejoiceeuphraino – to gladden, make joyful

This was the word used to describe the “joy” that the people on earth would have when the two prophets were killed:

(Re 11:10 NKJV) —10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

:12 who dwellskenoo – to set up a tent; to dwell

:12 inhabitantskatoikeo – to dwell, settle; inhabit

:12 wraththumos – passion, angry, heat, anger boiling up and soon subsiding again

:12 Woe to the inhabitants of the earth

For those of you tracking the “three woes”, this is the third “woe” that is tied with the seventh trumpet.

When we were looking at the seven trumpets, we were told that the last three trumpets would be known as the three “woes” because they would bring such terrible things.

The Fifth Trumpet brought the demon locust creatures.
The Sixth Trumpet brought the huge 200 million horsemen that would kill a third of the earth.
But the Seventh Trumpet brought:
(Re 11:15 NKJV) Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

What’s so terrible about that?

This “woe” about the devil being cast down is what comes from the seventh trumpet.  The rest of the Tribulation comes from this seventh trumpet.  It’s the worst “woe” of them all.

:12 he knows that he has a short time

Satan isn’t going to go quietly.  He will be angry about what has happened to him and he is going to try and take as many people to hell with him as he can.

12:13-17 Israel Persecuted

: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.

:13 he persecuteddioko – to make to run or flee; in any way whatever to harass, trouble; to persecute

If you believe that the “woman” is Mary, I’m not sure how you’d take this, perhaps persecution of the church or something.

If the “woman” is Israel, then you see Jewish persecution growing.

: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.

:14 wingspterux – a wing: of birds

:14 eagleaetos – an eagle

:14 flypetomai – to fly

:14 two wings of a great eagle

Some have suggested that this is some type of “air lift” led by the U.S. military, since the symbol of the air force is the eagle.  It may simply be a way of saying that God is going to provide a way of escape, similar to how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt:

(Ex 19:4 NKJV) —4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.

:14 a time and times and half a time

Another 3 ˝ years.

“time” + “2times” + “half a time” = 3 ˝ “times”.

Sounds like 3 ˝ years.

This is the phrasing that Daniel used regarding this same time period when the antichrist would persecute the Jews:

(Da 7:25 NKJV) He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.

: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.

:15 spewedballo – to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to scatter, to throw, cast into; to pour, pour into of rivers; to pour out

:15 carried away by the floodpotamophoretos – carried away by a stream (i.e. overwhelmed, drowned in the waters)

:15 carried away by the flood

This could be an actual flood of water.

It could also be descriptive of an army.

God called both Assyrian and Roman armies floods (Is. 28:2; Dan. 9:26)
(Is 28:2 NKJV) —2 Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.
The idea is used to describe the Roman forces destroying Jerusalem (Dan. 9:26)
(Da 9:26 NKJV) —26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.

: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.

:16 helpedboetheo – to help, succour, bring aid

:16 earthge – arable land; the earth as a whole

:16 swallowedkatapino – to drink down, swallow down; to swallow up, destroy

Somehow, miraculously, Israel is rescued from the Antichrist’s attack.

: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.

:17 enragedorgizo – to provoke, to arouse to anger; to be provoked to anger, be angry, be wroth

:17 offspringsperma – seed from which a plant germinates

:17 the rest of her offspring

The dragon is unable to get to those that have taken refuge in the wilderness and so he goes off to hunt down other Jewish people who have started to follow Jesus Christ.

Could it be that Satan will go after the 144,000?  Perhaps God has determined that their time is up and they are allowed to die.  We next see them at the beginning of Revelation 14, and they are found in heaven with Jesus.

:11 they overcame him by …


Lamb’s blood

As we've seen, one of Satan's major works is that of accusing or condemning.  With it, he alienates us from God and makes us ineffective – spiritual nerve gas.
But we have an antidote for that – the blood of the Lamb.
From the ancient days of Moses, God explained that the most important part of a sacrifice was the blood of the animal.
(Le 17:11 NKJV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

God wanted mankind to start thinking of blood as being equivalent to the life of the creature.

When an animal become a sacrifice for you, its blood is shed to show that its life has been given.  It dies in your place.  It pays the price for you.

That’s what Jesus did for us.  He died for us. He is …

(Jn 1:29 NKJV) …The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

It’s the blood of Jesus that cleanses us and frees us from all of Satan’s accusations and condemnation.
(1 Jn 1:7 NKJV) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

As we allow God’s light to expose our sin, we bring our sin to God and allow Him to cleanse us by the blood of Jesus.

(1 Jn 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The cleansing comes as we confess our sin to God.


The Word

they overcame him by …the word of their testimony
This might refer to each person’s individual testimony of who Jesus is and what He has done in their life.
A better idea is that it refers to the Word of God, the Bible.
The Bible, and especially the New Testament, contains the “testimony” of those who knew Jesus.
The Bible is one of our main weapons of spiritual warfare.
Paul called the Bible a “sword”
(Eph 6:17 NKJV) …the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
The writer of Hebrews calls it:
(Heb 4:12 NKJV) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
We see Jesus using the Scriptures when He was tempted by Satan.
(Mt 4:3–4 NKJV)3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

With each temptation that Satan put in front of Jesus, Jesus countered with a Scripture that spoke directly to the issue.

Jesus didn’t use the Bible as a book of magic sayings, He used the Bible as a book of principles to live by and guide His life.

Victory over Satan comes when we live less and less like Satan wants us to live, and we live more and more like the Word of God tells us to live.



“they did not love their lives to the death”
The victors in the Bible are those who, if necessary, will face death in order to take a stand for what’s right.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego lived in Babylon.
When Nebuchadnezzar came up with a new religion which demanded that everyone bow down to his statue or face being thrown into a blazing furnace, they responded by saying:
(Da 3:17–18 NKJV) —17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

They were not going to compromise what they knew to be right, even if it meant death.

They stood up to evil and were miraculously delivered as they survived the fire, but there are countless others who had no miraculous protection, but instead were ushered into the presence of God.

Stephen, the first martyr, stood for Jesus.  As he was being stoned …

(Ac 7:55–56 NKJV) —55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

He got a standing ovation from God has he died for his faith.

Sometimes the issue isn’t my death, but a scratch on my car …

What can the enemy do against people like this?  Nothing but lose.


Trust Jesus

Jesus knows how to do spiritual warfare.
(Heb 2:18 NKJV) For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
I find it fascinating that before Jesus started His ministry, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where the Jews will flee to.  He fasted for 40 days, and faced Satan.
Play40” clip.
Jesus knows how to help you.  He knows how to fight for you.  Trust Him.