Viewing: Dragon - View all posts

Revelation chapter 12 - The Fury and the Flood - JS Gillespie  

Perhaps like myself you find the book of Revelation somewhat daunting with it's ultiplicity of interpretations which is  somewhat off putting! Perhaps you can identify with the sentiment of one writer who quipped that there was only one person who understood Revelation and he is at home in the glory!
It is a book of complex symbols and language.
The subject matter; doesn’t really make for easy reading and is not overtly comforting, at least on the surface that is! This is perhaps typified by the transmission of the Greek title for Revelation “ἀποκάλυψις” into the English language, and is now used for catastrophe and disaster in epic proportions. 

Revelation is indeed a book of catastrophe and disaster for the world: 

Revelation is a boook containing the extremes of: 

  1. Personalities – Christ and the Devil 
  2. Places – Heaven and Hell 
  3. Problems – global and eternal destruction 

7 seals 
7 trumpets 
3 woes 
7 vials 
4th Seal sees ¼ of the world’s population destroyed 

6th trumpet witnesses 1/3 of the world’s population destroyed! By the time we reach chapter 12, at least ½ of the world’s population has been wiped out! It’s not a cheery read! 

Don’t let that put you off! 

Ignore the book of Revelation at your peril! 

There is at least one great reason not to ignore this book: 

Revelation at least in part deals with the extremes of disaster and catastrophe! 

If you believe, as I do that God is: 

  1. Sovereign over the problems of life “all things work together for good” 
  2. Sufficient in His grace “my grace is sufficient for you” 
  3. Supreme in His power “all power is given unto me…” 
  4. Solution to all of our problems “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) 

Then in these extreme experiences of: 

  • Trial 
  • Testing 
  • Suffering 
  • Persecution 
  • Problems 
  • Discouragement 
  • Difficulty 

We see God’s extreme solutions! 

If God is able to deal with the extremes, He is surely sufficient for our problems and our needs too!

In Revelation chapter 12 people experience: 

  1. Personal Failure – The Flesh 
  2. Satanic Fury – The Devil 
  3. Persecutory Flood – The World 

God has His provision and His solution in the extremes of these conditions and experiences! 

  1. Fury of the Devil 
  2. Flood from the World 
  3. Failure of the Flesh 

All 3 are inter-related! 

It is the fury of Satan which directly causes the flood of persecution from the world (vs12-15). 

It is the failure of the flesh that hinders victory over Satan and gives the accuser fuel for his fire (v10-11). 

Power to overcome the accuser (v11) holds the key to their personal victory! 

The flood of persecution is the product of Satanic fury! 

Israel couldn’t see that of course in Revelation chapter 12, but nonetheless the spiritual battle was happening above them, over them and they were caught in the crossfire between heaven and hell. There will be many spiritual battles of which we are unaware but feel the shockwaves in our lives and souls.

Cosider the fury of Satan revealed here in Revelation chapter 12:

Know your adversary 

Don’t imitate his character 

Note the description of his character: 

  1. Destroyer (v4) cf. John 10 
  2. Deceiver (v9) 
  3. Accuser (v10) 

Satan characterised as deceiver. 

Deception often linked with intelligence! It is so here of course. 

Intelligence is often required to pass off a good deception! 

Spoof emails and phone calls, fake social media accounts, malicious phone calls etc! 

Normally intelligence employs deception for the goal of personal gain. They want what you have! For Satan though the scenario is different! 

Satan is under no delusion that he could stand ultimately to gain from these deceptions (12:12), he knows that his time is short. Ultimate gain is not on the horizon for him! 

What could possibly motivate him? 

The very essence of Satanic character: malicious envy! 

Satan isn’t deceiving to personally profit from it but rather that you might lose, that you might be destroyed. This is malicious, destructive, satanic, envy!

Cf John 10:10 

Sufficient for Satan to drag you down, bring you down, get you down and keep you down! He will strive to ruin you at every turn! 

Flood of persecution in the world 

Satan having fallen from heaven (12:9), turns upon the people of God. 

Satan falls from heaven to earth and to hell. 

It is interesting that as Satan falls further and further, the glory of Christ fills the void, as the morning star and as King of Kings and Lord of Lords on the earth. 

When the world and the Devil send the flood God always has His refuge for His people 

“And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32:2 

For: 

Jacob and his sons in famine there was provision in Egypt 
Moses on the run as a fugitive there was refuge in the backside of the desert. 
Israel caught between the armies of Pharoah and the Red Sea, there was a path through to the promised land 
Samaria in the famine and siege of 2 Kings chp 7 – respite and refuge comes through the actions of 4 lepers at the gate of the city. 
David there was the cave of Adullam 
Jonah there was the provision of the whale 
Elijah a morsel of meal in the widow of Zarephath’s house 
Elisha a place in the home of the Shunammite 

For: 

Israel a way through the red sea and ultimately into the promised land 
Elijah a way up 
Jonah a way down and out of the depths 
Daniel a way out of the lion’s den 
Thief on the cross a way into heaven 
Noah a way over the flood 

God is always able to provide a refuge in the storm, always able, since His refuge is a person! 

“And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32:2 

If a man is a hiding place, then that hiding place, isn’t restricted to a place, but is always available as a person! 

Sometimes the means of that provision comes from the most unexpected of sources! 

The unlikely gentile widow 
The unexpected provision from Joseph, a son sold as a slave 
The terrifying whale 
An unassuming little maid of Naaman 
An improbable coin in a fishes mouth 

Failure of the flesh 

The failure of the flesh give substance to the accuser, adds fuel to the fire and keeps the believer down, hinders their recovery. 

There is overcoming victory (v11) by

  • Blood of the lamb 

Provision for forgiveness and recovery 

  • Word of Testimony 

Power of a changed life 

  • Total commitment 

Proof of nothing being more important than the Lord

 

subscribe to our YouTube channel here - help spread the word