Summary: This is a message on eschatology taken from Pastor ALderman’s book on Revelation.
CONFLICT INVOLVING SATAN
Conflict involving Satan has been going on at least since he originally appeared as a serpent in the Garden of Eden. His relentless evil has been going on without mercy for all of that time. There are no kind ways to refer to such a beastly dragon as he. When you study about Satan in the Scriptures, you will notice that the existence of Satan is taught in seven Old Testament Books and in all of the New Testament Books. The greatest authority on the existence of Satan is that Jesus, Himself, taught of Satan (Matthew 13:39; Luke 10:18).
His name, Satan, means adversary; Devil means slanderer. Lucifer means son of the morning according to Isaiah 14: 12. He also carries the name, Beelzebub and Belial. As you can see, none of these names are very attractive.
Satan was cast out of his original position in heaven according to Ezekiel 28:13-15.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Satan will be cast out of Heaven midway the tribulation period when he fights against Michael the archangel. This is what our lesson will involve as we study Revelation chapter 12. This chapter will begin with the study of a great wonder involving a woman clothed with the sun. There are four representative women found in the Revelation. The first mentioned is Jezebel who represents false religion (Revelation 2:20) and the woman here mentioned pictures Israel. The third woman mentioned, the scarlet woman, represents the apostate church (Revelation 17:1). The final woman mentioned is the Lamb’s wife, who represents the true church.
There are several clues given that indicate that this woman represents Israel. In Genesis 37:9-11, we find that Joseph had an unusual dream. In that dream, he dreamed that the sun was a type of Jacob. He dreamed that the moon pictured his mother, Rachel and that the eleven stars were his brothers (the tribes of Israel) which bowed down and worshiped Joseph.
In several places in the Scriptures, Israel is referred to as a woman. (Isaiah 54:1-6; Jeremiah 3:20; Ezekiel 16:8-14; Hosea 2:19-20). With this brief background study, may we now consider the Conflict Involving Satan.
I. THE SATANIC WAR COMMENCED. (Vv. 1-12).
This scene opens with one of the seven wonders of Revelation. The first wonder is called a great wonder. In verse number three, we read of another wonder that is in great contrast to the first wonder. One being Israel, and the other being Satan. The last chapter ends with the temple of God being opened in heaven with the ark of the testament being seen. This Ark of the Covenant is identified straight back to Israel and the promises that God made to Israel. It is of no wonder, that the first great wonder is that of Israel in such close association with the mentioning of the ark. All of the activities that surrounded the revealing of the ark such as the thundering, lightning, earthquake, voices and great hail were there to signal attention to the fact that God was going to show His faithfulness to Israel, even though Satan was and still continued to be an enemy to Israel. Notice how Israel and Satan are referred to as wonders in our study.
A. The Great Wonders in Heaven. (Vv. 1-6).
As mentioned already, two of the seven wonders are mentioned in this chapter. The two are mentioned, one as the protagonist and the other as the antagonist. I say that in the sense that Israel, who gives birth to Jesus through Mary is the principle player and Satan as the true adversary that he is, is the antagonist. He has always been an enemy to God since he rebelled against God at the original fall. From that time on, he has been playing his very diabolical part, well. As crafty as Satan may be, he still loses.
1. Note the great wonder of the woman. (Vv. 1,2).
God so elected the woman as indicated by this great wonder to be the means whereby God’s redemptive plan would be carried out. In her prominent regal manner as indicated by her being clothed with the sun, and the moon under feet she assumes this role. This role was not of her choosing, but the electing or choosing of God. It is within God’s sovereign purpose that the nation of Israel was chosen as the vehicle for delivering the Christ-child. The woman is clothed with strength as indicated by the sun description. Just as the sun has a fixed orb and purpose, so does the woman Israel mentioned here. Just as the sun faithfully shines within its design, along with having its cloudy days, it still continues to shine. The woman Israel has always had its enemies who seemed to cloud its purpose, yet she continues to shine. Her prominence allows the moon to rest under her feet. In nature the moon does not receive the prominence of the sun; it only has its reflected glory. The nation of Israel has a sovereign purpose as ordained by God which does not diminish. Its glory is reflected in all that she touches. The nation of Israel has carried strong influence all along the way. There is not a Gentile people group that has not been touched by her sunlight. Even in Israel’s darkest hour her sovereign purpose continues to shine. From her came the Christ Child and Satan has fought this all of the way. There is also a crowning glory that involves all of the sons of Jacob. When you think of Israel, you can not do so without being reminded of how Israel was put together. Israel began with the twelve sons of Jacob. Whether it is the mentioned twelve stars here or the twelve stones on the high priest’s breastplate, it all points to Israel. This is all included in the great wonder of the woman.