Revelation: Things Are Not As They Seem – Part 9

The Story Behind It All Revelation 12:1-17 May 29th, 2016


I. Review – The ROLE of BELIEVERS during judgment. (Rev.10-11)
A. to be NOURISHED by SCRIPTURE (10:9-11)
B. to be a WITNESS (10:11-11:7)
C. to the point of BROKENNESS and DEATH. (11:8-13)
D. This week Three CHARACTERS in a COSMIC battle (12:1-17)

Thanks for coming back. Last week was a heavy text with a lot of Old Testament imagery. I wanted to start today by just summarizing what exactly I see last weeks text saying in one sentence. Some of you may be wondering why I didnt just do that last week

1. In what ways do you see God calling you be a witness in your life?
2. In what ways has your weakness and brokenness been used by God to show his power through you?

II. This WOMAN is a bit COMPLICATED (12:1-6, 13-17)
A. The WOMAN as ISRAEL. (12:1-2; Gen 37:9; Is. 26:17)
B. The WOMAN as MARY. (12:5; Lk. 1:38) C. The WOMAN as the CHURCH. (12:6, 13-17; Gal. 4:19)

Not sure if I should have used the heading that I used here, but it certainly is true. The woman is a sign, something that points to a reality greater than just a woman. But this sign reminds us that God has been working out His plan for a long timeand it will not fail.

3. Do you agree with this three pronged interpretation of the sign of the woman? Why or why not?
4. In what ways do you, as a member of the church, help give birth to others as Christ followers?

B. The GOAL of the DRAGON. (9:11; 12:4,17; I Pet. 5:8)

There really is a devil. There is a spiritual being who seeks the destruction of all that God loves. And he is no one to be trifled with. We can see from this description that he is quite powerful and very focused and determined on his task. Yet, in the words of Martin Luther, his doom is sure, one little word shall fell him.

5. How do people around you react to the idea of Satan? How comfortable are you talking about his existence and his agenda?
6. What do you see to be some of the most subtle ways that he makes war against those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (12:17)?

IV. The CHILD is JESUS. (12:5; 19:13-15; Ps. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-11)

V. The BATTLE and the VICTORY. (12:7-12)
A. The LACK of DRAMA. (12:7-8; 16:16-17)
B. The DRAGON is going DOWN. (12:8-13; Lk. 10:18)
C. An IMPACT filled with IRONY. (Gen. 3:15; 12:5,7-10)

The easiest symbol in the entire Revelation is that of the child. Its Jesus. And with His arrival on the scene, the conflict is all but over. For all the power of Satan, the battle is a bit anti-climatic. Michael and the angels promptly throw him out of heaven. He has been defeated.

7. What stands out to you about the birth of the child and the defeat of the dragon? How can you apply those insights into your own life?
8. What do you make of the idea expressed by Jeff that Satan no longer has access to God? Is this what Jesus meant in Luke 10:18?

A. DEFEATED dragons make life DIFFICULT. (12:12,17)
B. TOOLS of the DRAGON –
1. ACCUSATION. (12:10)
2. DECEPTION. (12:9)
3. THREAT of DEATH. (12:4, 15-17)
C. The WAY to OVERCOME – (12:11)
1. BLOOD bought FORGIVENESS. (12:11a)
2. The TRUTH of JESUS. (12:11b)
3. A PROMISE greater than FEAR. (12:11c)

The text today explains that we are in the last stages of this cosmic war. Satans time is short, but he wants to go out in a blaze of glory. The victory is already accomplished, and yet God waits for more to come to know Him. That makes for a challenging existence for Christ-followers, but He has not left us powerless. We have all that we need to overcome.

9. How does this passage give meaning and understanding to our everyday existence?
10. In what ways does Satan accuse you, seek to deceive you, and provoke in you a fear of death? How can you counter those attacks?