Revelation
1-6 The Dragon, the Woman and the Child 7-17 Satan Thrown Down To the Earth
The Dragon, the Woman and the Child

1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads [were] seven diadems. 4And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. 5And she gave birth to a son, a male [child], who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

V11A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;. After the temple of God and the ark of His covenant (Rev 11:1919And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.) “a great sign appeared in heaven”. This sign is in line with the temple and the ark. The temple and the ark are the center of God’s earthly people Israel. The great sign in heaven refers to Israel. The sign is ‘in heaven’, for it represents God’s plan with Israel according to His counsel (Rom 11:2929for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.) and is therefore something that is fixed in His heavenly counsel.

The woman represents in several places in this book a company of people or a system. In this way there is mention of Jezebel (Rev 2:2020But I have [this] against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit [acts of] immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.), which is the papacy, the great harlot (Rev 17:1-61Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,2with whom the kings of the earth committed [acts of] immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.”3And he carried me away in spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.4The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,5and on her forehead a name [was] written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”6And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.), and also the nominal Christianity which is closely related to the papacy. In that way there is also mention of the bride (Rev 19-22), which is the glorified church. Here the woman represents Israel. You can derive that from the characteristics. They are presented like God intends them to be. In the time of the birth of the Child (which the following verses are dealing with) was not the case yet, for then Israel was under the yoke of Rome.

Israel is “clothed with the sun”. The sun is the image of the highest authority on earth (cf. Psa 104:2a2Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,
Stretching out heaven like a [tent] curtain.
). It has always been God’s intention to make Israel head of all nations (Deu 28:11“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.). That is emphasized by “the moon under her feet”. You can derive from that, that all earthly powers in the millennial kingdom of peace acknowledge the authority of Israel. Also the “crown of twelve stars” she is wearing, testifies of her glory. It is very well possible that the twelve stars represent the twelve tribes as channels through which the blessing of God in the millennial kingdom will flow to all parts of the earth.

V22and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.. After this awesome perspective on the future something curious of the woman is noticed: “She was with child.” Moreover, her pregnancy has come to the stage of giving birth. She cried out in labor and in pain.

This description gives a flashback of the past and looks forward to the future. On the one hand you go back in time, namely to the birth of the Lord Jesus from the people of Israel (Isa 9:66For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
; Mic 5:22“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
[Too] little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
). On the other hand you go to the future, for the labor pains which refer to the time of the great tribulation (Mt 24:15-2115“Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),16then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.17Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house.18Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.19But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!20But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.21For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.), are still to come. Nevertheless, the labor pains announce the new life. This new life refers to the coming of the Lord Jesus, His second coming of course. That coming is seen as a new birth.

Therefore somewhere else it is said very remarkably for instance that He will come out of (and not: to) Zion (Rom 11:2626and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”). It is as if the people have given birth to Him only then. That is the moment that God again “brings the firstborn into the world” (Heb 1:66And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”). He will not come again as a defenseless Babe Who is being rejected, but as the Ruler.

In order to understand this representation of matters well, it is important to see that the intervening age of the church is not taken into account. Here at one time you switch from the past, where so many promises were made, to the future for the fulfillment of those promises. In the past the promises could not be fulfilled because of the unfaithfulness of Israel and the rejection of the Lord Jesus. In the future those promises will altogether be fulfilled on the ground of the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus. In this chapter you see how that will come to pass.

V33Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads [were] seven diadems.. After the sign of Israel you see that “another sign appeared in heaven”. This other sign is the “dragon” or satan. His color is ‘fiery red’, which represents the color of the blood of his many victims. It indicates the murderous activities of this enemy of God.

He has also “seven heads” with a crown on each head and “ten horns”. You can find the explanation of that later in chapter 13 (Rev 13:11And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns [were] ten diadems, and on his heads [were] blasphemous names.) and 17 (Rev 17:3,7-123And he carried me away in spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.7And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.8“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.9Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,10and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.11The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is [one] of the seven, and he goes to destruction.12The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.). These chapters deal with the Roman empire. In the description here the emphasis lies on the diabolic power that is hidden behind this empire. The heads represent both the extraordinary intelligence and power. The crowns indicate the royal position which the dragon arrogates to himself. The horns refer to power and strength.

V44And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.. Like it already has been shown, the tail represent lies and false doctrines (Rev 9:1010They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.; Isa 9:1414So the LORD cuts off head and tail from Israel,
[Both] palm branch and bulrush in a single day.
). These false doctrines are spread by the dragon through the antichrist, the false prophet. “A third of the stars of heaven” that are dragged by his false doctrines may refer to those who have a leading position in the Roman empire. Those are probably light bearers that will bring a nominal Christian doctrine after the rapture of the church.

After you have seen the dragon in his devouring and deceptive work you see him standing before the woman who is about to give birth. His intention is to devour the Child Whom she will give birth to, as soon as it has been born. Here you see what you read in the gospel according to Matthew about the attempt of Herod to kill the Lord Jesus when he heard about His birth (Mt 2:13-1613Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.”14So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.15He remained there until the death of Herod. [This was] to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON.”16Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.).

V55And she gave birth to a son, a male [child], who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.. Here the birth of the Lord Jesus is first described and then the purpose of His birth: His kingdom over all nations. But because He is hated and rejected, God catches His Son up, to Himself and to His throne. That has taken place with the ascension.

V66Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.. You read nothing in this chapter about the time of the church. The church is not a subject of the prophecy. The Christian period is skipped. We suddenly find ourselves in verse 66Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. in the time of great tribulation, which is in the second part of the seventieth week which endures seven years from Daniel 9 (Dan 9:24-2724“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy [place].25So you are to know and discern [that] from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince [there will be] seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.26Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end [will come] with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.27And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations [will come] one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”). Therefore the next act of God is related to the runaway of the woman that she may not fall prey to the dragon. Here the woman represents the people of Israel, but particularly that part of Israel that is related to Him, which is the believing remnant.

God protects the woman against the persecutor by providing her with a hiding place. In that place he feeds her for twelve hundred and sixty days, which is three and a half years (one month counts thirty days). The fact that there is mention of “days” indicates the daily care of God for His own. They will pray the prayer “give us this day our daily bread” (Mt 6:1111‘Give us this day our daily bread.
) in the truest sense of the word. It is very likely that Moab is the place where they experience His care and providence each day (Psa 60:99Who will bring me into the besieged city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
; 108:1010Who will bring me into the besieged city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
; Isa 16:44“Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you;
Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.”
For the extortioner has come to an end, destruction has ceased,
Oppressors have completely [disappeared] from the land.
).

Now read Revelation 12:1-6 again.

Reflection: What could you learn from this section, regarding your personal faith life?


Satan Thrown Down To the Earth

7And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has [only] a short time.” 13And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male [child]. 14But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

V77And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,. Now we will get the explanation of why the woman has to flee to the wilderness. That’s because satan is thrown out of heaven to the earth, which is the result of a war that ignites in heaven. It could be the case that satan thinks that he has a chance to seize power in heaven, now that the beast and the antichrist have full control on earth. It may also possibly be a last act of despair to stop the coming definite judgments.

In the outbreak of the war two superpowers stand against each other, two leaders and each of them has an army that is led by them. The one party is Michael with his angels, which are the elected angels. The other party is the dragon, which is satan with his angels, which are the fallen angels. With heaven, the territory where the war is going on, is meant here the firmament of the heavenly places. It is not the place where God dwells and to which satan has access. There he is unable to develop his power in opposition, but is totally subjected to God.

V88and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.. In this war the dragon and his angels have to face Michael and his angels. The fight is fierce, but satan has to suffer the defeat. He and his angels are removed from heaven, where they up to that moment have had access. It is actually important to see that it is not a war between the Lord Jesus and satan. That wouldn’t be a war between two more or less equivalent superpowers, for the Lord Jesus is God the Almighty and satan is His creature.

V99And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.. It is comprehensively made clear here that the great dragon is satan. The great dragon is “that serpent of old” from Genesis 3 (Gen 3:11Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”). The name ‘serpent of old’ is a reminder of his great power that lies in his deception. The name “devil” is derived from the Greek diabolos and it means ‘accuser’ or ‘slanderer’. His work consists of speaking evil and accusing, whereby he distorts the truth. The name “Satan” means ‘adversary’. He is the archenemy of God and His Christ. He is the liar and murderer of men from the beginning (Jn 8:4444You are of [your] father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [nature], for he is a liar and the father of lies.). He is relentlessly and unchangeably active in deceiving the whole world, all men and in particular to take God’s children away or to drag them away from God and Christ.

After his humiliation because of his resistance against God Who removed him from the holy mountain of God (Eze 28:14-1614“You were the anointed cherub who covers,
And I placed you [there].
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
15“You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you.
16“By the abundance of your trade
You were internally filled with violence,
And you sinned;
Therefore I have cast you as profane
From the mountain of God.
And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the stones of fire.
; Isa 14:12-1512“How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
13“But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
14‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
15“Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,
To the recesses of the pit.
), he still had access to God. You see that in Job 1:66Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.; 2:11Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.. But it is over now. He is thrown on the earth in order to be even more humiliated. That will happen when he will be locked up in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. After he will be released from there for a short period of time, he will get his deepest and definite humiliation when he will be thrown into hell (Rev 20:3,103and he threw him into the abyss, and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.10And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.). The Lord Jesus has seen and foretold his fall (Lk 10:1818And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.).

V1010Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.. The great dragon and his angels are removed from heaven and thrown out on the earth. After satan is thrown out from heaven a voice in heaven speaks about “the salvation” that has come. That refers to the millennial kingdom of peace. It is the salvation of the whole creation from the power of satan and the coming of the wonderful time of peace and righteousness over the whole earth. Then the kingdom has come with power.

The voice in heaven that John hears, speaks about “the kingdom of our God”. It is the great victory of the God with Whom they have come into relation by putting their trust in Him in the sacrifice that He has given in His Son for them and their sins. That Son is His Christ to Whose authority they have submitted themselves and Who now will exercise that power over the whole creation. They know that they are related to others, “our brethren”, who have also by faith entrusted themselves to God and the power of His Christ.

Their brethren who at that moment are on earth have nothing to fear anymore of a satan in heaven who accuses them before God (Zec 3:11Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.). Satan, “the accuser … has been thrown down”, who relentlessly “accuses” the believers “before our God day and night”. The time of accusing is over. The beginning of the fall of satan is the harbinger of the ultimate victory.

V1111And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.. The fall of satan will have devastating consequences on the earth. But for those who believe the victory will be certain by the blood of the Lamb. Their testimony which they gave by their word is also a triumph over satan. They have not bowed their knees to him, but they have defeated him by their testimony, even though it has cost them their lives. At the same time they had the assurance that they could not ever lose life because they believed in the power of the blood of the Lamb. The body can be killed, but not the soul. It seems that these are the martyrs of chapter 6. “They did not love their lives” (Rev 6:99When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;), but they gave their lives unto death by their persistent testimony of the Lamb.

V1212For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has [only] a short time.”. Now the accuser has been removed from heaven there is room for joy. But for “the earth and the sea”, whereon the devil was been thrown down, the consequences are terrible, even though these consequences will not last long. With ‘the earth’ Israel is meant in particular, while you should consider ‘the sea’ as the restored Roman empire.

When satan is thrown down on the sea the great tribulation will begin, which will last for three and a half years. His anger has no limits, but fortunately his time does (Mt 24:22,2422Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.24For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.). The devil, “knowing that he has [only] a short time”, will make every effort to cause a persecution that is unprecedented in history.

V1313And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male [child].. You have read in verse 66Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. about the runaway of the woman. In the verses 7-127And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.11And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.12For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has [only] a short time.” you saw why that was necessary: it has to do with the throwing out of satan on the earth. Now your attention is drawn again to the runaway of the woman and you get further particulars regarding her runaway. The anger of satan is now especially focused on the believing remnant of Israel, that is represented by “the woman who gave birth to the male Child”. Out of this nation Christ was born Who will fulfill God’s plans with His people and the world.

Satan is called “the dragon”, because he seeks to devour cruelly and without any compassion. Here satan takes off his mask. First he showed a friendly face in the monstrous covenant that he caused to be made between the Roman empire and the apostate Israel (Dan 9:2727And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations [will come] one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”). That is in the period of the first part of the last week – a period of seven years – Daniel writes about. The temple service for instance was still allowed to take place. But that changes when satan will be thrown down on the earth. Then he will do everything possible and will use all the means he has at his disposal to eradicate everything that has to do with God.

V1414But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.. God gives the woman “two wings of the great eagle” at her disposal. The wings enable her to escape from the anger of the dragon (cf. Exo 19:44‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.; Deu 32:1111“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.
; Isa 40:3131Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up [with] wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
). Those wings also enable her to fly “to her place”. God has a place for her where she will be kept safe from the dragon and where He will take care of her during the time that the dragon is allowed to do his atrocities on earth (Mt 24:15-1615“Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),16then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.).

With “a time and times and half a time” again the three and a half year of the great tribulation is meant. ‘A time’ indicates a year, ‘times’ indicates two years and ‘half a time’ indicates one half year. In her hiding place “the serpent” with his deceptions has no access to her.

V1515And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.. When you consider the serpent as the deceiver, you may consider the water that comes out of his mouth like a flood as an enormous flood of deceptions. The purpose of all kinds of deceiving miracles and signs is also to get hold of the elected ones. The deception will be phenomenal and will be a part of the great tribulation. When there is an enormous threat, there is a great risk to give in to all kinds of miracles and signs that come out of the mouth of the deceiver (2Thes 2:9-109[that is], the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.). If those days were not shortened, then even the elected would fall prey to it. But they will be shortened precisely for their sake (Mt 24:2222Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.).

V1616But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.. God will supernaturally intervene, in order to make the attempts of the serpent (here again called dragon) fail. He has His instruments on earth that will help His people in that time of the greatest need. These are probably people who stand up for the persecuted ones and take care of them. God makes sure that His people will not die. He makes a hedge around them (cf. Job 1:1010Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.). He does not yet act openly in the favor of His people, but He protects them in a hidden way against total destruction.

V1717So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.. When the dragon sees that his attempts to eliminate the remnant as a whole have failed, he looks for other victims to express his anger against them. There is still “a rest of her children”. It seems that these are the believers who stayed behind in Jerusalem (Zep 3:1212“But I will leave among you
A humble and lowly people,
And they will take refuge in the name of the LORD.
). Because the dragon was focused on the majority, he did not pay attention to the few believers in Jerusalem. God knows those as the ones who keep His commandments. They are focused on Him. That makes them have “the testimony of Jesus”. They are associated with Him.

Now read Revelation 12:7-18 again.

Reflection: What are the consequences when satan is thrown out to the earth?


Read more