Saturday, November 4, 2023

The Devil Cast Down

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "The Devil Cast Down"
Written by:  Pastor Bob Lawrenz

We managed to get through the first 10 verses of revelation 12 last week. Verse 10 is where we will pick up, and continue through the chapter. Ten verses are not much to cover, but I suppose a truly in-depth study would mean that we would still be in the first chapter of this wonderful book. Like a tapestry, everything seems smoothly put together, but behind the front, looking at the back of it, we see threads of study going everywhere throughout the Bible, connecting seemingly unconnected thoughts together to make the intricate pattern of the tapestry’s front view.

Last week, we learned that the Spiritual battle being played out in heaven (verse 7), came to a severe turn, and Satan was cast out. Where did he go? Isaiah 14:12-15 tells us one destination: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” His own pride will be his undoing. Has this happened yet? No, this is for a future day, part of the prophetic character of Revelation. John is speaking of those times “which shall be hereafter,” according to Revelation 1:19. Revelation 12:13 says he was cast to the Earth, for now!

What does this mean for us today? Today, the great dragon, the old serpent called the Devil, and Satan (verse 12:9), still has access to the throne room of the Father. There, as in Job 1, Satan is asking God to consider the faith of yet another believer, and how far he can go to attack their faith in God and Christ Jesus. Will it be you, or you, or me? By what are you tempted? Where is our individual weakness, those sins that do so easily beset us? Satan is a conniving liar at all times. Walk circumspectly, be alert to, and aware of your surroundings, for our adversary, the Devil is looking for the next one to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t let him find you in the wrong place at the wrong time. Walk in freedom, but do not tempt the Lord. Job learned a hard lesson in his day.

So, as you go about this week, be aware that Satan wants to sift us all, to test our faith as we walk humbly before our God and Savior. It is the Church that Satan targets. All others already belong to him.

2 Peter 3:17 -

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.”

Bobservations'Column: Audio Version

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:
Revelation 12:10-17 - "The Devil Cast Down"

Summary/Bible Notes:  

Today, we are finishing up the twelfth chapter of Revelation.  You remember, last week we read of the great war in heaven between God and Satan.  It is a war that has been going on since Satan's rebellion against God.  Satan's fall took a third of the angels with him, and they were cast out of heaven to earth.  Since then, Satan and his demonic hosts have done everything imaginable to stop God's redemptive plan for mankind throughout our entire history.  He did everything to stop the coming of the promised Redeemer. 

Since the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, Satan's attacks are focused on the Church, and this will continue until the Rapture.  During the tribulation, Satan will increase his efforts to destroy the Jewish people, so that the nation cannot be saved as God promised (Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Romans 11:25-27), and to prevent Christ from establishing His millennial kingdom.

So, in Revelation 12:1-6, John introduces all the combatants in this war.  In Revelation 7-12, John describes the first phase of Satan's final assault on God before Christ returns.

Again, since Satan's fall (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 2:11-18), Satan is actively battling with the angelic host, and with believers (Daniel 10:12-13; 1 Peter 5:8).  Believers must be Aware and Alert to all of his schemes, giving him no opportunity to weaken our faith and testimony to the world (Ephesians 4:27).  We are to resist him (James 4:7). 

The future battle finds Michael and the angels waging war with the dragon.  This ultimate battle may be triggered by the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).   Michael and Satan, having known each other since they were created, Michael an archangel, defender of God's people; and Satan, the archenemy of God and His people.

Evicted from heaven, Satan's full fury will explode on humanity when he is cast to the earth for the last time.  Once, the most glorious, created being (Isaiah 14:12), is forever known as Satan, or "the Adversary."  He is the deceiver of the whole world, enemy of God, enemy of man.  

In verses 10-12, there is another celebration, Satan and his demons have been defeated, and his presence has been removed from heaven.  The Saints in heaven rejoice with an outpouring of praise, the accuser of the brethren has been cast down.  They rejoice in the salvation, the power and the kingdom of our God... and in the authority of His Christ.  

The joyous praise of triumph is followed by a sober warning to the earth (vs. 12).   The Greek word for "wrath" refers to a violent outburst of rage.  Satan's rage now becomes more violent because he knows his time is short. 

Satan wages war on earth in three phases:
  • Phase One (verses 13-14):  Satan's hostile pursuit and persecution of the Jews as they flee into the wilderness. 
  • Phase Two: (verses 15-16):  Because his initial attempt to massacre the Jewish people is prevented, he sends a destroying army after them to sweep them out of their hiding place.
  • Phase Three: (verse 17): Again, his plans are foiled, so he turns his fury towards new targets.  Anyone who names the name of Christ - Jew or Gentile.  This too will fail.  Satan cannot stop Christ's Kingdom from being established, be Christ is our Victor!


The Accuser (vs. 10) - 
Satan is God’s great enemy, and therefore the enemy of Christians as well. Among several other names, Satan is known as the accuser. Satan was formerly a beautiful and powerful cherub, likely the highest of all angels. But iniquity was found in him (Ezekiel 28:15), and he was lifted up in pride, desiring to be greater than the Lord God (Isaiah 14:12–15). He led an army of angels into rebellion, which resulted in his ejection from heaven—along with every angel who had followed him (Ezekiel 28:17–18). Now Satan prowls the earth, seeking to hinder all he can from choosing salvation and living a life of obedience (1 Peter 5:8). In addition, Satan acts as the accuser of believers in an attempt to discredit them before God.

For the time being, God has allowed Satan the accuser limited access to heaven.

Satan is relentless in his accusations—he accuses God’s children continually. He hates God and all that God is, which means he also hates God’s mercy and forgiveness extended to sinful humanity. Satan the accuser stands before God in an attempt to somehow lessen God’s love or diminish God’s mercy. Fortunately, his accusations against us fall on deaf ears: “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33). Salvation belongs to the Lord, and His justification cannot be reversed. God is greater than our accuser.

In today's text we find that Satan will no longer be able to accuse believers before the throne of God because he will no longer have access to heaven.

Blood of the Lamb (vs. 11) - No accusation can stand against those whose sins have been forgiven because of Christ's sacrificial death (see Romans 8:33-39).

Time is Short (vs. 12) - Knowing that his time is limited, Satan will intensify his efforts against God and mankind, and specifically target Israel (vv. 13, 17). 

Wings of a Great Eagle (vs. 14) - This are not actual bird's wings, but rather a depiction of God's providential protection of Israel. 

A Time, and Times, and Half a Time (vs. 14) - Again this speaks of 3 1/2 years, the time period of the second half of the tribulation (see vs. 6; 11:2-3; 13:5).

As a Flood (vs. 15) - This, too, is a symbolic flood.  The devil is energized in full fury, enraged at the Jews in particular, and will send a "flood' after them, probably military might, but God will destroy them all. 

Swallowed Up the Flood (vs. 16) - Means of destruction is apparently a great earthquake, a great fissure opening up in the earth, swallowing up Satan's army. 

Remnant of Her Seed (vs. 17) - Satan will turn his frustrated rage against every follower of the Lamb he can find - Jew or Gentile.

Commandments of God...Testimony of Jesus Christ (vs. 17) - The revealed truth from God and Christ contained in Scripture.  Obedience to God's Word always marks a genuine believer.

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