War In Heaven – War On Earth. Click on the arrow to see the video and text.
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I. The Ryrie Study Bible (Daniel 9:27 note) describes the time period which is known as the seventieth week of Daniel, as lasting for seven years, and being known as the Tribulation; Jeremiah 30:7 calls this time of Tribulation “Jacob’s distress.” The Ryrie Study Bible note on Jeremiah 30:7 discusses “the time of Jacob’s distress” in the following words: “The coming days of tribulation that will come upon all Israel.” In this article we begin a study of the time of the Great Tribulation, which will be the last half of the seven years of Tribulation. The Walvoord Commentary states the time which follows Revelation 12:6 as being the beginning point of the Great Tribulation. The Bible Knowledge Commentary describes the period of time which covers the Great Tribulation as being: “1,260 days; three and a half years; forty-two months of thirty days each; “a time, times, and half a time.” The characteristics of the Tribulation and Great Tribulation are identified in the Ryrie Study Bible, as follows.
A. Matthew 24:4-14 lists characteristics of the first half of the Tribulation period.
B. Matthew 24:15-18 deals with the second half of the Tribulation period.
II. Text. Revelation 12:7-17.
A. War In Heaven. Revelation 12:7-12.
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And 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. 10 Then 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. 11 And 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. 12 For 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.”
B. War On Earth. Revelation 12:13-17.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But 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. 15 And 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. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17 So 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.
II. Translation Considerations. “The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was chosen for this, and other studies, because of two main reasons. First, the NASB capitalizes the first letter of pronouns that relate to God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); not all Bible translations show that same respect for God. Second, the NASB has a history of correctness in translation.”
III. Comment Providers. BKC=The Bible Knowledge Commentary. DHC=David Hocking Commentary; HC=Holman Commentary; MSB=MacArthur Study Bible; NAC = New American Commentary; NKJV= New King James Study Bible; RLT=Robert L. Thomas Commentary; RC=Ryrie Commentary; RSB=Ryrie Study Bible; SRN=Scofield Reference Notes; WRC= Walvoord Commentary. Credentials for individual commentators can be found on my “About Sources” page.
IV. Comments. Revelation Chapter 12.
A. War In Heaven. Revelation 12:7-12.
1. 12:7. “war broke out in heaven.” The tumultuous events on earth during the Tribulation find their counterpart in heaven. A state of war has existed since the fall of Satan (cf. v. 4; cf. Dan. 10:13; Jude 9). Something will intensify that warfare—possibly the raptured saints passing through the realm of the prince of the power of the air (cf. Eph. 2:2). (MSB)
2. 12:8. The defeat of the dragon in this war results in his losing his access to Heaven. (RLT)
3. 12:9. “dragon was cast . . . to the earth.” Satan and his demons were cast out of heaven at the time of their original rebellion, but still have access to it (cf. Job 1:6; 2:1). That access will then be denied, and they will be forever barred from heaven. “Devil and Satan.” Cf. 20:2. “Devil” comes from a Gr. verb meaning “to slander” or “to falsely accuse.” He is a malignant liar (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8). His accusations against believers (v. 10) are unsuccessful because of Christ our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Satan, meaning “adversary,” or “enemy,” appears especially in Job and the gospels. “deceives the whole world.” As he has throughout human history, Satan will deceive people during the Tribulation (cf. 13:14; 20:3; John 8:44). After his temporary release from the bottomless pit at the end of the Millennium, he will briefly resume his deceitful ways (20:8, 10). (MSB)
4. 12:10. “accuser.” See note on v. 9. Satan will no longer accuse believers before the throne of God because he will no longer have access to heaven. (MSB)
5. 12:10. The Dispensation of the Kingdom (2 Samuel 7:16 refs.) begins with the return of Christ to the earth, runs through the “thousand years” of His earth-rule, and ends when He has delivered up the kingdom to the Father. (See Scofield “1 Corinthians 15:24”). (SRN). Consider the question of the apostles (Jews) to Christ, immediately prior to His ascension to Heaven: Acts 1:6, “So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” Notice that it was the subject of “the Kingdom and Israel” that was pressing in the minds of the apostles (Jews). From Matthew 4:17, forward, Christ began to teach on the subject of the Kingdom; such teachings were addressed to Jews, whom were His audiences. Up until the time of Christ’s ascension, the apostles (Jews) were seeking the answer as to when the “Kingdom would come.” This Acts 1:6 question also relates to the words of Matthew 6:10, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” The conditions of the Kingdom will be those of Isaiah 2:1-4. The Kingdom is a promise to saved Jews. Saved gentiles will benefit from the blessings of the Jews (Gen 12:1-3). The Kingdom will be a physical place, which will be about ten times the size of current day Israel; and will extend from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River in Iraq (Gen 15:18-21). The Kingdom will have a government (2 Sam 7:8-16). The Kingdom will have human and animal occupants (Isaiah 2:1-4; 11:6-9). The Kingdom will have a physical ruler, whom will be Christ (Isaiah 9:6-7). Saved Old Testament Jews will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, and will rule along with Christ in the Kingdom (Dan 12:1-3; Matthew 19:28). The Kingdom will last for one thousand years (Rev 20:6). We are not in the Kingdom now. The Church can not bring in the Kingdom. Only Christ can bring in the Kingdom, and not until He returns to earth at the end of the Tribulation (Zech 14:1-5, 9). The Kingdom is not “within us,” (a KJV incorrect translation of Luke 17:20-21); the NASB provides the correct translation of that passage. A discussion on the situation of saved Gentiles, during the time of the Kingdom age, will be provided at an appropriate time in the future. It is important to remember that the teaching of the Kingdom is about “a people, a place, and things,” which can not enter into anyone’s body, soul or spirit. (Mine)
6. 12:11. “blood of the Lamb.” No accusation can stand against those whose sins have been forgiven because of Christ’s sacrificial death (see Rom. 8:33–39) (MSB)
7. 12:12. “he has a short time.” Knowing that his time is limited, Satan will intensify his efforts against God and mankind, and specifically target Israel (v. 13, 17). (MSB)
B. War On Earth. Revelation 12:13-17.
1. 12:13. The account resumes by repeating the substance of 12:6. The reason for the woman’s flight is in 12:6. She is fleeing the pursuit of the dragon. When the dragon saw that he could not reach the woman’s Son, he turned to the mother to try to hurt the Son through her. (RLT)
2. 12:14. “wings of a great eagle.” Not actual birds’ wings, but a graphic depiction of God’s providential protection of Israel (cf. Ex. 19:4). Wings often speak of protection (cf. Deut. 32:9–12; Ps. 91:4; Is. 40:31). “a time and times and half a time.” Three and one-half years; the second half of the Tribulation (cf. v. 6; 11:2, 3; 13:5). (MSB)
3. For verses 15-16, will the flood be water, or a large army? HC, DHC, RLT are in agreement with RSB.
a. 12:15-16. In an attempt to dislodge the Jews, Satan will bring a flood. God then will cause the earth to open and swallow the water. (RSB). [Can Satan cause a literal flood? Under God’s permission and plan the answer is “yes” as it was in the days of Job. Some see a literal flood, and others view this as a symbolic act. But, there is no symbolic language here, using words like “as” or “like.” This is apparently a literal attempt by Satan to destroy the children of Israel. DHC]
b. 12:17. Satan will then attack those who did not flee to the place of asylum. (RSB).
c. 12:17. “rest of her offspring.” Satan will turn his frustrated rage against every follower of the Lamb he can find—Jew or Gentile. “commandments of God . . . testimony of Jesus.” The revealed truth from God and Christ contained in Scripture. Obedience to God’s Word always marks a genuine believer. Cf. John 8:32. (MSB)
V. Video Data.
A. What will be the outcome of the “battle in the heavenlies”?
B. John Ankerberg Show; with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung”.
1. From Our Series “Through the Book of Revelation with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung”.
2. For more information on this series, please visit: https://jashow.org/through-the-book-of-revelation/
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