Summary: Satan - one little shall fell him. But what if no-one uses that word? What if we keep watering down the faith? What if we are too materialistic? What if we are too comfortable? We are at war don’t be distracted or deceived.
How real is evil? I think we can all agree that evil is very real.
Now here is a slightly different question. How powerful is evil?
There is an Old Hymn by Martin Luther called A Mighty Fortress is Our God.
Here is one of the verses
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
How powerful is evil? One word is all it takes to bring him down. Surely then we are able to keep evil in its place. With that question in our minds let’s read Revelation 12:1-13:18.
It may be true that one little word can feel him. But as I read through this passage I cannot help but be confronted by the reality that evil – the dragon, the sea beast and the earth beast – that right through history evil has been, and is winning, a few battles.
In fact, I would go one step further and say that we, as Christians are involved in a spiritual war with a fearsome enemy. Let me show you why as we have a closer look at these chapters.
Do you know what I like about this chapter?
It is actually quite easy to understand.
For one thing the dragon is identified for us in verse 9.
The great dragon was hurled down – the ancient serpent called the devil or Satan.
The seven heads with the seven crowns is a claim of power and authority; and it isn’t a false claim
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4
When speaking to His disciples Jesus describes Satan as
The prince of this world John 14:30
When Jesus was being tempted in the desert Satan says
I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. Luke 4:6
In response Jesus doesn’t say “No you don’t have that authority”. Satan was not making a false claim here.
Satan – the dragon, the serpent, the accuser, the devil – has a lot of authority …
How is he using that authority?
That brings us to the woman.
The woman represents the people of the Old Testament.
In Genesis 37:9 Joseph, the boy who got a special coat from his dad, had a dream. In that dream The sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me. God’s OT people were stars, the sun and moon were under their feet.
The woman represents the faithful people of God.
She is the one who gives birth to a male child who will rule with an iron sceptre. That can only be Jesus can’t it. The woman isn’t Mary specifically, but the Messianic line of faithful people.
The woman represents the New Testament people.
She is protected by God for 1260 days which, we have said, is the time of the church age. She also has offspring who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
The woman is all of God’s people, from all generations and ages, at all times. And for all this time she has been harassed by Satan.