Reminder: Revelation 8:1. “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” An Almighty voice cried out. And heaven stopped….it stood still. For thirty minutes every celestial thing stood still. “And there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”
Chapter 8 reminds us that there is a dominant universal power. We are concluding our review of Revelation 12 which speaks of War in Heaven. We discussed chapter 8 in our Revelation series, but it is so powerful it serves well to remind us once again of God’s awesome power in chapter 8, verse one.
War In Heaven:
Let’s reset the stage by remembering Revelation 12:12: “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (NKJV). It is the heavens that stand still, according to chapter 8:1. Earth, all that is in it, and Satan are about to be judged. The end is no longer near. It is in progress. We read of rejoicing and woe. Let’s discuss it.
There are several noteworthy events in these verses of Revelation 12:10-17. Back up two verses to Revelation 12:10. In part we read: (v10b) “for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God, day and night, has been cast down”. Satan has, in a sense, been in the face of God pointing out the failures of believers. When cast out of heaven, he can no longer do this. His access to God in heaven is finished. At that time he is restricted to earth and the atmosphere around it. This is why verse 12:12 offers a warning…WOE TO EARTH. This is a parallel passage to the Red Dragon being pushed from heaven, his tail sweeping 1/3 of the angels along with him (Revelation 12:4).
Why does Satan panic? Revelation 12:12b states: “For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” He has always known he is defeated. He also understands scripture when it says the Tribulation will last but 7-years. He knows his demise is but 7-years once cast out of heaven. All he can look forward to is 1,000 years of being nonessential with no direct influence over anything. At this time he has only 7 years remaining to destroy as much of God’s creation as possible. Where does he think he can do the most damage with such time constraint? By destroying God’s chosen Israelites.
NOTE ONCE AGAIN: In verse 4 of Revelation 12 we have a significant period between the first sentence and the second sentence. The first sentence is about the birth of Jesus. Satan knows this well. He tried to proxy the death of Jesus so the (woman) Israel would not produce a plan of salvation through the Tribe of Judah. His tail dragging 1/3 of heaven’s host of angels to earth is before the Tribulation. When Satan stood before Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem as she labored the birth of Jesus, it was years earlier then this passage addresses in Revelation. Jude 6 reinforces this conclusion.
Believers have total assurance of salvation, not of personal powers, but according to verse 11, the “blood of the lamb” assures it. “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5 [KJV].
Satan’s wrath is exceedingly great. As pointed out. His days are numbered to 7 more years. Recall that Satan does not know when the return of Jesus would be. Even Jesus does not know this time. “But of that day and hour, no one knows.” Matthew 24:36
Revelation 12:13 can be a bit confusing. It is a predestined event. When Satan sees he has been cast to earth along with his minions, he persecutes the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male child. Israel is God’s chosen and Satan hates it. Why? Because he wanted to be the chosen one.
- The woman is Israel
- Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah
- The male child which Satan could not destroy is Jesus
The obvious focus of this verse is the End Time persecution of man, beast, and earth enacted by Satan. If it is due to Satan concentrating on brutalizing Israel due to Jesus being born out of them, it means that the focus of Satan is upon Israel first, then God’s creation. No hint or mention is given of the church of Jesus. Why? They are already raptured. We do know that some people will come to Christ during this short time. They too will be harassed or murdered through Satan’s proxies. Taking the mark of the beast will not do anyone a bit of good. Many in this later revival will be Jews. It may include those Left Behind pew dwellers.
New believers who accept Christ as Messiah and are murdered during the Tribulation will be the souls hidden under the Throne or alter. See Revelation 6:9-17. This is a very revealing passage. It happens at the opening of the 5th and 6th seals. To answer the question of will men and women become believers in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation is an obvious YES.
Keep in mind that the woman mentioned in verses 13 and 14 is Israel. One can only speculate the meaning of the “two wings and an eagle” mentioned in Revelation 12:14. Looking at Exodus 19:4, we find similar verbiage. We know that the exodus of Israelis from Egypt under Moses and Joseph was not aboard a huge airplane. The same is true in Revelation 12:14. This verse and mention of a great eagle with two wings imply the speed of the fleeing Israelis from *Judah, specifically Jerusalem. They flee to the wilderness where they have the protection and provisions of God. When does this happen? It will be the mid-point of the Tribulation when the antichrist goes back on his 7-year agreement of peace.
*JIV NOTE: The State of Israel in 2022 has approximately the same borders of the Old Testament territory of the Tribe of Judah. It is but a small part of the Promised land.
An aha moment often missed is the first sentence in Exodus 19:4…You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. This portion in Revelation 12 is also the time of judgment upon the earth, followers of the antichrist, and nonbelievers. God’s wrath will be felt upon the earth. We will discuss the multiple wrath during the Tribulation in a later article.
Amazingly, Satan tries to dislodge these refugees from their God-given place of refuge. Revelation 12:14 reads: “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood”. One can probably take this literally. Satan has great powers. However, his attempt to use a mass weapon of destruction like this huge flood is nixed. God causes a great opening in the earth that swallows and absorbs the flood waters Satan “spews from his mouth”. v16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. v17 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 i.e., those who have then accept Christ during the Tribulation. The dragon switches gears when he sees he cannot touch those who fled to the wilderness. He turns on those who since the beginning of the Tribulation have accepted the truths of Salvation and the blood of Jesus that assures their eternity. Satan’s wrath includes those who did not heed the warning to flee Judah/Israel. (Luke 21:20-23)
This is not a new tactic of either God or Satan. Isaiah 59:19 we see the use of a flood and defense provided by God back in the Book of Exodus. We must allow for the the possibility this flood being symbolic, perhaps of a great army. We do know at the exodus; Egyptian forces were swallowed up by the Red Sea. Perhaps this time in Revelation 12 it is a great opening in the earth that swallows up these possible invading forces or flood waters. These military forces may possibly be caught in the flood waters of Satan just as happened to Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea.
Revelation12:17 reiterates that this secondary aggression is against God’s chosen who are not in Petra i.e., the wilderness to which they flee. It is those who are related to the fleeing Israelis. Again, the church is not identified as being on earth.
Rev. Dr. Jstark