The Cosmic War (Rev. 12) :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Genesis 12:1-4; Numbers 24:17-19; Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Psalm 110:1-2; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 12:1-17

Summary: This chapter contains symbols describing the ongoing war between God Almighty and the devil, Satan. It also shows that the LORD has the final victory and that His people Israel will be saved as He promises throughout Scripture.

When symbols are used in Scripture, they are self-interpreting. This is the case when we read the account of events written by John in describing what is an ongoing cosmic war between the LORD God Almighty and the forces of evil led by Satan.

We see the pure malevolence and hatred of both God and the nation of Israel by the devil and his armies. This rebellious angel has had a deep, unchanging hatred for God and His people ever since he fell from the heavens due to his pride and arrogance (Isaiah 14:7-12; Ezekiel 28:12-17).

He has done everything within his limited powers to try and pollute the Messianic bloodline, first by the cohabitation of fallen angels and women that produced the hybrids known as the Nephilim (Genesis 6). God flooded the world and destroyed these evil monstrosities along with the entirety of civilization due to their violent and evil ways.

The devil, along with his demons, tried to obliterate the nation of Israel by introducing and promoting idol worship that went so far as to have the children “thrown into the fire” as an appeasement to the pagan god Molech, a practice forbidden by God (Leviticus 18:21, 20:3; 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35; Acts 7:43). This, along with other sins, brought down the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, whose people were led into exile. This purged the Israelites once and for all from ever turning to idols again (2 Chronicles 36:15-21).

The practice of child sacrifice was one way by which the devil was trying to destroy the Messianic bloodline and arrival of the One who would crush his head, as God declared in Eden (Genesis 3:15).

Satan is both a liar and a murderer who will do anything to eliminate anyone who is serious about serving Him with their whole heart (John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8).

When Jesus was born, the devil tried to use the wicked and insane King Herod to kill all baby boys under the age of two in desperate hopes that Jesus would be one of the victims (Matthew 2:16). He tried to tempt Jesus to abandon His mission of redemption by appealing to pride, power, and possessions (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-11).

The forces of evil thought that they had won the battle when they saw Jesus dead upon the cross and buried. If they knew that Jesus would rise from the dead and be the Promised Savior, they would have never put Him to death (1 Corinthians 2:7-9).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the final nail in Satan’s coffin, and now the certainty of hell looms over him (Matthew 25:41) and everyone throughout history who has been foolish enough to follow him (Revelation 20:11-15).

The symbolism of Chapter 12 is an overview of this cosmic war.

In verses 1-6, John sees a woman in the final stages of childbirth. This woman is NOT Mary but is instead a representation of the nation of Israel, whom God sovereignly chose to bring about the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. In the same imagery, John describes a “great, fiery red dragon” that is ready to “devour the Child as soon as it was born” (v.4).

This dragon swept a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to Earth. This is a picture of the fallen angels known as demons, who joined in the rebellion against God and are now, like their diabolical leader, cosigned to hell (Mark 5:7; Ephesians 6:10-18) at the end of the age.

These evil beings have done everything to thwart the plans of God, including blinding the eyes and covering the ears of anyone coming into contact with the Gospel in a desperate and spiteful attempt to drag as many people as possible with them into eternal hell.

Unfortunately, the majority of people who have lived and are living today choose to take the broad road leading to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). God’s allowance of “free will” gives us the choice of whether to serve God and receive salvation or not. The Gospel opens the eyes of some and hardens the hearts of others.

The plans of evil men and beings will never thwart or eliminate the plans of God for His people and His creation. His Son, Jesus Christ, will rule the nations with a “rod of iron” (Psalm 2:1-12; Revelation 19:11-21), and everyone will bow before Him and profess that He is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). This includes Satan, his demons, and all who believed that their decrees, laws, and acts of persecution would be sufficient enough to rid the world of Christ and Christianity.

Even now, there are foolish men denying the existence of God and carrying banners telling the world to “kill Jesus again when He comes back.” Scores of people are rising up and blaspheming His Holy name, as if that will make Him go away.

The Bible prophesied that these things would come to pass. None of this has ever caught the LORD off guard. He has the end of the age already planned out (Ephesians 1:4). He has the final victory. He has the forces of evil already consigned to eternity in the Lake of Fire. Jesus Christ has the final word, like it or not. Dragons, demons, and all evil do not stand a chance. Israel will be delivered from its enemies and will embrace Jesus as their Messiah. The redeemed of all time will see Him face to face and will dwell with Him forever in the new heavens and earth (Revelation 21:1-7, Chapter 22).

Either you are on the side of the LORD or have chosen to align yourself with the devil. There is no middle ground and no “grey areas” when it comes to your eternal destination. Revelation, and the whole of Scripture, is a warning to repent and turn to the LORD for redemption.

As we progress through Revelation, we will see that things will only get worse for the inhabitants of the earth with the arrival of the Antichrist and his reign of evil.

I implore you to put your faith in Jesus Christ today. I do not want you to go through this approaching time of evil but instead to be a part of the family of God. This may be your last opportunity before the promised Rapture of the church (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). What are you waiting for?

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