Every one of us has a spiritual battle raging around us. Does it seem sometimes like life is just hard? This is because we are all in an unseen war:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Romans 12:1-4 describes a woman who is about to bear a son (Jesus). A seven-headed dragon (Satan) is waiting for the birth so that he may destroy the Child. Recall that when Jesus was actually born two thousand years ago, he had a death sentence on his head by the order of King Herod.
As we read on, we discover in verse 5 that Jesus is saved into heaven and a great battle ensues between the dragon and Gods angels. Michael is a fighting angel (think of Mike Tyson as a reminder).
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (verse 7-9).
As Satan is defeated, he is cast out of heaven. (See Luke 10:18.) Satan was actually an angel who aspired to be God, which ultimately brings his downfall. God wasnt voted in He is simply in charge and no one can take His place. This is why sin is destructive; in its very nature, sin is the desire to be like God, wanting control of our own lives and the power to do as we please without consequence. If it cast Satan out of heaven, what can it do for us?
While Satan is cast out of heaven, he turns his attention to the other offspring, the Church Gods people, and he knows his time is short. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (v. 17)
The passage continues to show that we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus. This is always the key to overcoming the devil! Read and discover meaning in this visionary passage.
1) Read the chapter a couple of times.As you read from the apocalyptic writings of Revelation 12, try to picture in your mind what you are reading, as though you are watching a fantasy movie like The Lord of the Rings.
2) Ask: to whom is the vision given and on whose behalf?The vision was given to John on behalf of the seven churches.
3) Determine whether the images of characters are fighting on behalf of God or Satan.The seven-headed dragon is fighting against God and His people.
The dragon is a metaphor of the devil, but remember that the devil is not always necessarily an ugly being; he can masquerade as an angel of light. However, he will never tell you who he is because he is a mastermind of deception. Think of Las Vegas: its bright lights and brilliant flash of fame and riches look enticing, but most of it is an illusion designed to bring destruction. It will never say up front what its consequences are, such as Come here and go bankrupt! or Sleep with this beautiful girl and get a disease! This is not to say that all of Vegas is sinful and you should never go there, but it is an example of Satans ability to use attractive things trap and destroy so that he wont be recognized.
4. Describe what they are doing.A seven headed dragon is fighting to destroy the child.
The devil speaks three times in the Bible, each time with the intention of destroying the relationship between God and man.
- In Genesis 3, he tells Adam and Eve that God lied to them.
- In Job 1, he tells God that Job is playing him.
- In Matthew 4: he tells Jesus the God-man that if he forsakes God, he will inherit the kingdoms of the earth.
The devil also wants to destroy your relationship with God. He wants to you reject God because he knows that God is the only one who can save you. If he can get you to reject God with money, hell try to get you money. He will facilitate whatever he can so that youll feel that you can be on your own and that you dont need God.
5. How does this passage fit into the scene of the overall story of gods eternal judgment?
It describes the spiritual battle that we are currently experiencing.
When things happen that we dont like, we have a choice: we can trust God to get us through or we can have an attitude (at the devils suggestion) and blame God.
Satan is after you, Christian or not. If you are a Christian, you are Satans enemy. If you are not following Christ, then you are following the devil and he will destroy you that much more quickly. Either way, God is your only hope!
6. How does this impact your faithfulness to God?
This should wake us up as to how much we need God. The devil is more powerful and smarter than we are he can even get us to hate and destroy ourselves. Think about it: do you do things you know are harmful to you?
God is the one who loves and cares for us. By clinging to Him, we have life, hope, and a promise of victory.
- Part 1, The Journey
- Part 2, Foundations
- Part 3, Preparations
- Book One: Warriors (Week 1)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 2)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 3)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 4)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 1)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 2)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 3)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 1)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 2)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 3)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 1)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 2)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 3)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 1)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 2)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 3)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 1)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 2)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 3)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 1)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 2)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 3)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 4)