Introduction: I hate to lose! Lawyers are not supposed to take their
cases personally. Instead, lawyers are supposed to do their best job
of presenting the evidence, and a judge decides who is right. Since
nearly all of my cases involve defending my client’s religious
liberty or free speech, I take winning or losing personally. Why?
Because the outcome not only affects my client, it affects the
freedom of many others. That is one reason why I’m glad I’m a winner
when it comes to the ultimate religious liberty fight! Satan will be
defeated! Let’s plunge into our Bible and study that defeat!
- The Woman Wearing the Sun
- Read Revelation 12:1. Who is this woman? In history, we
find pagans who worshiped the sun. Is she a sun worshiper?
(Read Revelation 19:7, Revelation 21:9, and Song of
Solomon 6:10. This woman represents the Church, she
represents God’s people. The Church is God’s bride. The
Old Testament has numerous references to God’s people
being like His wife.)
- Read Revelation 12:2 and Revelation 12:5-6. To whom does
this woman give birth? (Jesus!)
- This may seem like multi-tasking at first: we are
both Jesus’ bride and mother. But, look at this more
closely. If the Church on earth is God’s bride, and
Jesus was born of a woman named Mary, then God the
Father and Jesus the Son fits this illustration
perfectly and consistently.)
- The Red Dragon Wearing Horns and Crowns
- Read Revelation 12:3 and Revelation 12:7-9. Who is this
dragon? (Revelation calls him Satan.)
- This dragon is big and has seven heads. Why seven heads?
We have seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, and
the seventh-day Sabbath. Why does Satan have seven heads?
(In many things Satan mimics God. He has a counterfeit for
many of God’s principles and assets.)
- Read Revelation 12:4. In past lessons I often talk about
God’s signs in the galaxy. Are these genuine stars? (No.
This is reasonably understood to refer to angels who
served in heaven and not literal stars. Keep this in mind
when we discuss things that appear to happen in the
- Contemplate this a minute. You and I were born with
an inclination to sin. Our nature is sinful. Angels
in heaven were created perfect. Their nature should
have been righteous. How smart, skillful and cunning
is Satan? (Perhaps that is why he has “seven” heads –
to reflect his intelligence.)
- Do you know someone who was very smart, but
because of a sinful life seems to have lost
that intelligence? Do you know people whose
evil emotions cause them to do stupid things?
(My guess is that Satan has lost some of his
intelligence. His evil emotions may rule most
of the time.)
- The Dragon Accuser
- Read Revelation 12:10. What does Satan do to you? (He
- Are his accusations true? (Most likely.)
- This says that Satan accuses you before God, does
Satan also beat you up over your confessed sins?
- Read Revelation 12:11. What does Jesus do for you? (He
takes away our sins by His sacrifice at the cross. Claim
this when Satan is beating you up!)
- The last part of Revelation 12:10 says that Satan has
been “hurled down.” How did we win? (God won. But, so
did we. One element of this victory is that we
“overcame him” by grace and the other element is “the
word of their testimony.”)
- What does the word of their testimony mean?
(Testimony is giving proof of something. What
we say and do gives proof for God’s side of the
- Notice the rest of the attitude of those who
overcome: they do not love their lives so much that
they shrink from death. As a practical matter, what
does this mean? (They testify about Jesus even if it
puts their life at risk.)
- Compare your attitude. Do you avoid standing up
for Jesus because it might damage your
reputation, your job, or your comfort?
- Read Revelation 12:12. Is the fighting over? Are we now
living in the wrong neighborhood? (Heaven is glad to have
Satan move out, but he moved to our world and is fighting
- Read Revelation 12:13. What is Satan’s first order of
business after he is hurled to the earth? (Pursuing the
woman who has just given birth.)
- What does that mean? (Re-read Revelation 12:5. This
is what we studied earlier. The woman is God’s
church, His people. The child is Jesus.)
- Read Revelation 12:14-16. This is the same time period on
which we have commented previously. Does the dragon
destroy the woman? (No.)
- Why not? (She was given “wings” and she is aided by
- What do you think that means? (The “wings” sound like
supernatural help. The “earth” sounds like she found
some refuge through geography. Just like the wings
took her to a desert, so this must be a geographical
place of safety.)
- Read Revelation 12:17. How does this escape make the
dragon feel? (He is enraged.)
- What is the result of this anger? (He is engaged in
war against God’s people.)
- Do you face hardships? How does Satan’s war against
God’s people affect you?
- Let’s look again at the last part of Revelation 12:17.
Have you asked yourself if you are part of God’s people?
- How does this text describe God’s people? (They obey
God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of
- Does the reference to obeying God’s
commandments mean that these are perfect
people? (Since we are all imperfect, it must
mean that they take obedience to God
- What does it mean to “hold to the testimony of
- Read Revelation 19:10. This says that the “testimony of
Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” I’ve often seen these
two texts paired and then the conclusion drawn that if
your church has a prophet, you qualify. Is that a
reasonable conclusion? What if your prophet died 100 years
ago and Jesus has not come yet? Should this be understood
to mean that you hold to the spirit of that one prophet?
- Read Joel 2:30-31. What period of time does this prophecy
of Joel cover? (The end of time.)
- Read Joel 2:28-29. These are the immediately preceding
verses. What does Joel tell us about the Spirit with
regard to prophesy during the end times? (God will pour
out His Spirit “on all people.” One prophet may be part
of the fulfillment, but if you think one prophet is
enough, you disregard both Joel and Paul. See, e.g., 1
Corinthians 14:1 where Paul teaches that many should have
the gift of prophecy.)
- Let’s go back and look once more at Revelation 12:17. What
was the “main issue” during the lives of the twelve
disciples after Jesus died? (The question was whether
Jesus was the Messiah? Is He God? Did He live a perfect
life, die on our behalf, and rise to eternal life to
minister on our behalf?)
- If that is the main issue, what does that suggest is
the meaning of holding “to the testimony of Jesus?”
(That points to grace – washing our robes in the
blood of the lamb. The people on which Satan turns
his wrath are those who take God’s commandments
seriously and rely on Jesus for their salvation.)
- Should you pray for the Holy Spirit to come in power
and fall on all members of your church?
- Friend, would you like to be counted among God’s people?
Why not decide today, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to
strive to live in accord with God’s commandments and to
call on the name of Jesus for your salvation? Pray for the
Holy Spirit to come in power!
- Next week: Satan and His Allies.