Revelation 12

One of the most amazing things about Revelation is the number of allusions to the Old Testament. In Revelation 12 we have references to the Garden of Eden, Joseph’s dreams, God’s provision in Egypt, Daniel, and Job. But the imagery doesn’t end there! There seems to be allusions to pagan myths as well, like the story of Isis (an Egyptian myth). She is a mother, with the sun on her head, who gives birth to a son, has a red dragon come after them, and escapes to an island (there is also a Greek version as well). Why would the Spirit have John convey Biblical truth in a way that corresponds to these untrue stories? Because it is something the people know, and it can be used as starting point to understand Biblical truth. It also helps us understand that there is probably a significant amount of symbolism present in these passages. That’s why many are comfortable taking the references to 42 months, 1260 days, or a time, times, and 1/2 time as symbolic for an indefinite time period, rather than a definite amount of time. So, what are some universal truths we can learn here?

  • Most agree that the child in this passage is Jesus. After all, He is the one who is going “to rule over all the nations with an iron rod” (Psalm 2:9)!
  • We see a lot about Satan here, including his hatred of Jesus and his influence over some of the angels. We also see his hatred of God’s people, since he is described as an accuser of the brothers and sisters (12:10). But his ability to do so has been affected because he has been cast down!
  • The ascension of Jesus seems to be tied to the casting out of Satan from heaven (12:5, 9), and he is ticked (12:12)! He is making war on earth against “those who keep God’s commandments and hold to the testimony about Jesus.
  • How do we persevere? How do we defeat the devil? The martyrs show us the way. We overcome through unwavering faith and allegiance to the one who gave His life for us!

“But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”

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