This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Revelation. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.
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The seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15 ushers in the seven bowl judgments which we will see in Revelation Chapters 15 and 16. In Chapters 12-14 John sees the conflict between God and the evil one and the enemy is seen in all his wickedness and the nature of evil is exposed.
Revelation 12:1-17 (NIV)
1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. 7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” 13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring–those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
These verses are a look at the cosmic conflict that is underway and sets some of the foundation.
The dragon is the evil one (Satan). The seven heads and ten horns symbolize the seven world empires and ten kingdoms. The seven world empires that God has used to judge Israel are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and the ten kingdoms of a revived Roman empire that we will talk about in Revelation Chapter 17.
The enemy and a third of the stars (angels) are thrown out of heaven.
The event being described is most likely the first coming of Jesus. The woman with the twelve crowns is Israel. Israel is compared in the Old Testament to a married woman in Hosea. Israel had been waiting for the promised Messiah. The son who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter is Jesus.
Revelation 19:15 (NIV)
15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
Psalm 2:9 (NIV)
9 You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Genesis 3:15 (NIV)
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
King Herod was motivated by the evil one to kill the savior of the world.
Matthew 2:13-20 (NIV)
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
The wilderness is a representation of spiritual protection for believers from the evil one. It is not a pass on living in the fall out of a fallen world on a broken planet, it is knowing that we can trust in the Lord now and forever and that our eternal life has already begun in Him.
7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back
This event was seen by Daniel:
Daniel 12:1-4 (NIV)
1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
There is obviously a lot going on behind the scenes at Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. There is a cosmic battle underway. At the cross, the enemy was defeated. He was rendered virtually powerless but he still operates at some measure until the second coming. He uses tricks and traps. Shame and guilt. Worry and fear. But he has been defeated at the cross. Like D-Day. The enemy was effectively defeated but there were still on-going mop up campaigns. Even though he is defeated he still wants to deceive as many as he can.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
One day soon, the enemy will be bound forever and that will be that.
The rest of the woman’s offspring in verse 17 could either be Jewish believers or all of the believers who have come to Christ during the tribulation period up to this point.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that as believers we are in a spiritual battle and he gives us great advice as to how we are to live.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.