The Dragon’s Defeat (Part 2) Revelation 12:7-12

Satan is a defeated enemy.  It is already determined: it’s signed and sealed and will be delivered completely at the end of the age.

All creation is in conflict.  Even heaven. We may assume that when we die we go to a place of perfect tranquility, and we do.  But there is something else true of heaven: it has been corrupted by the rebellion of Satan and there has since been in conflict “up there”.  That is why the Bible says there will be not only a new earth, but, also a new heaven. That conflict ends in Satan’s spectacular defeat as we are told in Revelation 12 when he is expelled from heaven by the archangel Michael and his army of holy angels.

 


Our passage today divides fairly easily today into 3 sections.  In verses 7-9 we see the Dragon Expelled from Heaven. In verses 10-12 we hear the Heavenly Exclamation.  And in verses 13-17 we see the Escape of God’s People. Within this section you can see several progressions happening – different flows within the text.  First is the progression of location: from heaven to earth. The passage starts out in heaven and ends up on the earth. Another progression is in the action:  Satan’s rabid conflict with everyone. First he is warring with Michael; then he is warring with Israel, and finally he makes war on the rest of God’s people.

 

The Dragon is Expelled from Heaven (7-9)

First we see that the Dragon is expelled from Heaven, read verses 7-9.  And as if to really drive the point home, the whole passage will repeat 3 more times that the dragon is hurled down to the earth – expelled from heaven (10,12,13).  This is an epic moment. Coming to mind are Jesus’ words in Luke 10:18, “I saw Satan fall like lightning.”   

 

Application:   Satan is a defeated enemy.  It is already determined: it’s signed and sealed and will be delivered completely at the end of the age.  His time is running out. He has a destiny that is completely out of his control. God has decided his fate and it will come to be just as God determined.  No escaping it. No avoiding it. No thwarting it. Just like everything else, Satan is under the sovereign rule of God. His future end is certian, but, that doesn’t mean Satan is idle right now.  It doesn’t mean he is rolling over or waving a white flag. His final, climactic defeat awaits the end of the age, yet, between then and now he is doing as much damage as he can. He has a window of time to run loose, but that window will close.  This is because Satan cannot compete with God’s power. He will be reigned in and brought to justice by the power of God.

 

Right now Satan has access to heaven and earth.  Job 1 and 2 shows Satan approaching God’s throne.  Revelation 12 says that Satan accuses the brethren before God day and night.  What we are seeing here is the demise of Satan progressing through stages that have been determined by God.  Think about this: Satan did not get thrown into Hell when he rebelled against God. Nor was he sent there when he led Adam and Eve into sin in the Garden.  Nor was he hurled to Hell when Jesus rose from the grave. God has it all planned out and Satan’s destruction is happening sequentially, phase-by-phase, just as God wants it to.  First, Satan was booted from his place as a guardian cherub on God’s Holy Mount when he rebelled against the Almighty. Then he was told in the garden that Someone born of the woman would come and destroy him.  Then Jesus went to the cross and died for mankind’s sins, effectively stripping Satan of the power of sin and death, the hold over man that he enjoyed. Then half-way though the Tribulation, with 3 ½ years left to go, Satan is bounced out of heaven by Michael.  

 

Where does Satan go?  To some nether-region?  To some distant galaxy of the universe?  To some star in remote regions of the cosmos inhabited by banished angels?  No. He is hurled down to earth. No more access to heaven. No more of those glorious sights of heaven’s landscapes.  He is confined to earth for 3 ½ years before his next destination: the Abyss.

 

Who is this angel Michael?  Michael is the only archangel mentioned in the Bible (Jude 9).  He is also called a “chief prince” in Daniel 10:13. Michael is an extremely powerful angel assigned by God to be the angelic prince over the nation of Israel (Dan. 10:21).  As we’ve studied elsewhere the Bible indicates that in the unseen world nations are assigned to the nations of men. Satan has a hierarchy of demonic “princes” over each nation and so does God.

 

Michael has a long-history with Satan.  Jude 9 says, “Even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses , did not dare bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!”  

 

It may be that Michael and Satan have clashed often precisely because of the Jews.  They are God’s covenant nation and since God’s plans for the world have centered on them Satan has targeted them.  Since it is from them the Messiah would come (the One who would destroy the devil) he has had a special interest in destroying them.  This heavenly battle will climactically end with Michael expelling Satan from heaven and violently hurling him down to the earth. Having been defeated by the angel of Israel, Satan will go and attack Israel (Revelation 12:13-17).  

 

The Heavenly Exclamation (v10-12)

Next let us look at the heavenly exclamation in verses 10-12, ….

 

Four statements are made by in this heavenly exclamation.

 

First, the world is being overtaken by God.  Look how the first part of verse 10 describes it, “…”  Just like we saw in chapter 11, here we have a voice from heaven declaring the successful advancement of heaven’s agenda on this earth.  His salvation. His power. His kingdom. All are coming on this world. The Almighty’s purposes for His creation are materializing. Take it to heart that the world is the Lord’s and all will be just as He has planned it to be.  

 

Second, our vindication is asserted.  Look at the last part of verse 10, “….”  Do you know that you are right before God? If you are in Christ then you are for sure.  If you believe on Him and trust that His blood has your sins covered then you are right with God.  But there is nothing Satan would love more than to change God’s mind about this. And perhaps there is nothing he so fanatically devotes himself to then accusing you before God.  Ahhh! Look at her! Or, “Look at him!” Do you really love them? Look at them!” If you don’t believe Satan does this then you haven’t read Job. “Job only serves you because he’s got a good thing going.  Take some of his blessings away and watch him curse you.” Accusing the integrity of Job. Or when Satan accused Job again in 2:5, “Stretch out your hand God and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  Satan is your enemy before God, the prosecutor in God’s court heaping blame upon the saints of God.

 

BUT!  The BIble says Jesus is at God’s right hand, and this is not just ceremonious.  He is there as our representation. First John 2:1-2 says, “…” Jesus is our vindication.  The Father has a choice: listen to Satan or listen to His Son. Who do you think He’s going to listen to?  His Son! Whose blood justifies us before God and washes away all our sin. Jesus’ work of atonement is done but Satan continues to accuse.  Someday God will have heard enough and expel Satan from heaven where he will no longer be able to voice his accusations to God.

 

Application:  You are justified before God.  If you are in Christ your guilt is gone.  

 

Third, only by Jesus do they overcome the devil, look at verse 11…  The word “overcome” takes us back to Jesus’ messages to the 7 churches back in chapters 2 and 3.  Each letter ended with a promise that was phrased like this: “To him who overcomes I will….” How does someone overcome?  First John 5:5 says, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that JEsus is the Son of God.” Overcoming is possible only because of Jesus.  You overcome when you believe in Jesus. You overcome because of the blood of Jesus. You overcome by your testimony in Jesus. You overcome by loving Jesus more than your life.  This verse teaches us that before God we have an Accuser: he Devil. He stands before God accusing all of us. Now think of this: Satan’s accusations are factual. He is not lying to the omniscient one.  When we sin he is stating truth: that we sinned. And he tries with all his cunning might to persuade God to destroy those who belong to Christ. So when it says, “THey overcame him..” it is referring to the fact that because of Jesus Christ the accusations of Satan are met with the Advocacy of Jesus Christ.  He is our Representation before God. His blood was spilled that our guilt would be washed away. He suffered that we wouldn’t have to.

 

Last, heaven’s joy is earth’s woe.  See what verse 12 says, …  Satan’s activity used to be divided between heaven and earth.  His evil machineries were spread across two spheres. Now, heaven rejoices that Satan is gone from its borders, but, it means that the devil is now fully confined to earth.  This means the full expression of his end times wrath is going to be concentrated entirely on earth. Woe to the earth! This is the 3rd woe.

 

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