1. A couple of weeks ago we took a general look at what still is to happen in the remainder of the book of Revelation. At the sounding of the 7th trumpet the actual events will take place.
2. The seventh trumpet is sounded but before the events are given in detail, we hear a response in heaven to the sounding of the trumpet. There are loud voices but we are not told whose they are. They announce the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ forever. God is sovereign and He rules heaven and earth.
3. But His rule has and is being disputed by Satan. Satan has used other angels and man to exert his claim and his influence. But that will be ended when he is finally defeated.
4. The 24 elders fall on their faces and worship God. They say that He has taken His great power and begun to reign.
5. He always had that power but He has now revealed it in two ways. By His wrath in judging the nations, His enemies. And by His grace to His prophets and all the saints. All who revere the name of the Lord will be rewarded - both small and great.
6. God’s temple in heaven will be opened so that all on earth will see it. This symbolizes His presence with His people. And the ark of the covenant reminds us of His faithfulness.
7. Now that we have seen the response to the sounding of the trumpet, we see in detail what will happen. And as confusing as it may seem to be, we go back historically.
8. In chapter 12 we see that three wars have and are taking place. Or we could say they show three aspects of one war.
9. In verse 1 we are told that John sees a great and wondrous sign. This means that what is described is symbolic.
10. First, he sees a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars. Her appearance is mighty and glorious. So important that even the heavenly bodies of light must serve to add to her splendour. And yet she has not yet reached the purpose of her existence. She is not perfectly happy and blessed. For she is pregnant and in great pain since she is about to give birth.
11. Then John sees another sign in heaven. An enormous red dragon. A monster that is deformed. It is the colour of blood and destruction. It has seven heads, each with a crown on it. This suggest complete rule. And seven is a holy number. But this is deceptive. For he is not what he thinks he is. The ten horns symbolize great power. This dragon is none other than Satan himself. We read that in verse 9. He was created a great angel but now he uses that greatness against God Himself.
12. In vs. 4 we read that his tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. This represents those angels whom he seduced to follow him in his rebellion against God. They are a third, a large number, but not the majority. They, along with Satan, were cast out of heaven.
13. But who is the woman? The answer is partly found in vs. 6. For the period of 1260 days was that which was used for the two witness. She is the church of the living God in Jesus Christ.
14. After delivering the child, she is in the desert or wilderness for 1260 days. The child is Jesus - for He will rule the nations with an iron scepter.
Rev 2:27 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery' -- just as I have received authority from my Father.
The woman is not the mother of Jesus.
15. Remember what God told Satan after the fall of man
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
Christ is God but also man. And as man Christ is to come forth from humanity, not as it is under the power of Satan, but rather from the people of God, from the church of the living God. He is the Son of David. He comes forth from God’s chosen people. We see that promise over and over again in the OT. To Abraham - all people would be blessed through Christ, through Abraham and his descendents of which Christ is one.
Gen 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."