Read Revelation 12

Key Verse: Revelation 12:11 “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”

In this chapter, we read of a “war in heaven” (vb.7) precipitated by an attempt by Satan to destroy the pre-existent Messiah — the “male cild, who will rule all the nations with an iron sceptre” (v.5). One of the unusual aspects of this account is the use of the past tense. John writes of something that has already happened both in the heavenly and earthly realms.

In reading about Satan’s downfall (vv.8,9) one thinks of Jesus’ words in Luke 10:18, when He says to the seventy-two disciples He had sent out two by two, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” This may help us to understand why Satan now operates in the space/time realm of the created universe. It may also help us understand why this world and this age are so utterly evil. But it should also encourage us to know that Satan’s rule will not last forever, “his time is short” (v.12c).

We need to remember that Satan is not God, nor is he a black equivalent. He does not possess godlike attributes. He is not all-present. He is not all-knowing. He is not all-powerful. He is an enemy, but a defeated one. And in the interim, between his present “warring” and his future destruction, we can resist him “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony”.

Satan is powerless in the presence of the “Lamb. All those who by faith have placed themselves beneath the atoning blood of Christ are absolutely beyond the limited reach of this “accuser of the brethren”. As the old hymn says, we are “safe in the arms of Jesus”.

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