Illus: Matrix—real world verses computerized world. Not an original idea. Biblical concept of a reality that is unseen. Spiritual war going on.
Intro: We have looked at the letters to the churches, the vision of the throne room of God and the Lamb and the first two cycles of judgement.
Seven Seals (6:1-8:1)
Seven Trumpets (8:2-11:19)
Now from 12:1-14:20 this third cycle of visions consists primarily of histories of key symbolic characters: the Dragon, the Woman, the Beast, the False Prophet, the 144,000, angelic announcers, and the Son of Man.
Like the previous cycles these all lead up to a vision of the second coming.
***This cycle depicts in depth the nature of the spiritual conflict. Characters appear in symbolic form to represent the forces on the two sides of a cosmic spiritual war.
The main point is to encourage Christians to be faithful and pure in their devotion to Christ.
These symbolic pictures show the two sides stripped of all inconsistency and confusion, so that we may better understand the nature of our warfare.
Woman-light—>Jesus and no Sun in
Similar imagery with Joseph’s Dreams in Gen 37
Also imagery of Jerusalem giving birth to the Messiah and his remnant
Therefore, Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of the ruler’s brothers will return to the people of Israel.
“Rejoice, childless one, who did not give birth; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the site of your tent, and let your tent curtains be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your ropes, and drive your pegs deep. For you will spread out to the right and to the left, and your descendants will dispossess nations and inhabit the desolate cities. “Do not be afraid, for you will not be put to shame; don’t be humiliated, for you will not be disgraced. For you will forget the shame of your youth, and you will no longer remember the disgrace of your widowhood.
Before Zion was in labor, she gave birth; before she was in pain, she delivered a boy. Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day or a nation be delivered in an instant? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her sons. “Will I bring a baby to the point of birth and not deliver it?” says the Lord; “or will I who deliver, close the womb?” says your God. Be glad for Jerusalem and rejoice over her, all who love her. Rejoice greatly with her, all who mourn over her— so that you may nurse and be satisfied from her comforting breast and drink deeply and delight yourselves from her glorious breasts. For this is what the Lord says: I will make peace flow to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flood; you will nurse and be carried on her hip and bounced on her lap. As a mother comforts her son, so I will comfort you, and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.
Opposing the Woman is the Dragon.
but our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our opponent is not earthly. We wage a battle not against flesh and blood.
The Dragon is identified as the Devil (12:9).
Satan is opposed to the plans of God and rises against the Messiah and his servants.
7 heads. Daniel and Revelation: multiple heads symbolize multiple manifestations of a single kingdom.
7=completion: Satan manifests his power through multiple channels, institutions and events.
1/3 of the starts. Typically argued to be angelic following.
The Dragon is attacking God’s order and rule—specifically he attacks male child.
It grew as high as the heavenly army, made some of the army and some of the stars fall to the earth, and trampled them.
Against this background of Daniel the stars may symbolize the angelic representatives of the church in its heavenly character.
is fulfilled and Jesus is born.
Satan attempts to destroy the child when he is born (Moses imagery with Pharaoh) like Harod did in .
Jesus after his death is now seated on the throne in Heaven and Satan is no longer able to attack Him. So Satan turns his attention to the Woman (followers of Jesus).
1260 days = 3 1/2 years. (see also 11:2-3; 12:14; 13:5)
Church age until Jesus returns.
Desert—looking forward to the Promised Land. Israel was tempted to lose faith and to rebel.
The Victory of Jesus has immense consequences.
Michael () expels Satan as an agent of Christ. This is not the fall of Satan at creation but the fall of Satan after the cross.
The war is fought in heaven where Satan was permitted to appear until his defeat on the Cross.
However, I will tell you what is recorded in the book of truth. (No one has the courage to support me against those princes except Michael, your prince.
(Job 1:6; 2:1; ; Luke 10:18)
Deceit is the weapon of Satan. God is truth. Satan has no truth in him. He deceives and accuses.
Praise breaks out in Heaven: Satan has been defeated; his ability to accuse has be curtailed; the salvation and kingdom of God have come (A-n-Y); however, strife continues for a SHORT time.
Having failed to destroy Jesus, Satan now turns to the church.
Satan uses his mouth to deceive the church and when that doesn’t work he persecutes them.
14 eagle ; ;
3 1/2 years time, times, and half a time
The earth comes to the help of the woman. The very structure of God’s created world restricts and frustrates Satan’s plans.
What did Jesus promise Peter? Concerning the church? Not even the gates of hell will prevail over it.
Since Satan cannot wipe out the church as a whole through deceit he wars against them. Chapter 13 shows that this war involves raising up earthy instruments of persecution.