Revelation 12-15: The Fifth Facet
Week 7, Monday: The Child, the devil, and the Church
Jesus is showing John visions to help us exercise patient endurance amid the tribulations of this world as we seek more of the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God (Rev. 1.9). In chapter 9 we were introduced to a spiritual power which was unleashed on the earth, bringing great harm to human beings. This is the same power referred to in Revelation 2.9, 13, and 24, and Revelation 3.9 as working to subvert the cause of Christ from within His churches as well as from without.
Revelation 12 takes us back to the beginning of this spiritual upheaval, and thus provides a larger backdrop for understanding what has previously been described concerning Satan and his ways.
Read Revelation 12
Meditate on Revelation 12.1-17
1. Let’s approach this chapter chronologically. The first event, in the order of events, is what we see in verses 7-9 and verse 4a. Meditate on Ezekiel 28.11-19 and Isaiah 14.12-21. These two passages from the prophets have a historical grounding (Babylon and Tyre), but they clearly also point to the situation described in Revelation 12.7-9, 4a. What similarities bring these three passages together? Taking the three passages together, outline the reason for Satan’s being cast out from heaven:
2. The next event in time is Revelation 12.1. 2. What does this describe? What do you make of the ways the woman is described? What does this description of her suggest about the Child she bears?
3. Next in time come verses 4b, 5a, 10, 5b, 13, and 14. How can you see in these verses a summary of the four gospels and the book of Acts? Which specific events can you identify? Notice also the connection between the time mentioned in verse 14 and that mentioned in 11.2, 3 – each of which is approximately 3 ½ years. Any thoughts about this?
4. Verses 15 and 16 follow next, and include all the events in time which John has seen thus far. What do you make of the image of the earth “helping” the woman, and who does the woman now represent?
5. Finally, verse 17 should be taken together with verses 11 and 12. How can you see the “Kingdom, tribulation, patient endurance” theme being played out here? How are the “offspring of the woman” described? Who are they (chapter 11?)?
Should you consider yourself one of the “offspring of the woman”? If so, what are the implications of this for your everyday life?
The Glory of God
This chapter reminds us that God is sovereign over all things, whether in the spiritual or material worlds. How can you see that? How should this affect our confidence in God as we “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”?
Glory to Glory
God is glorious, even in the background, as in this chapter. How should you expect God to show His glory through you during this time of Kingdom, tribulation, and patient endurance? What kind of opposition can you expect as you pursue this course?
Our memory verses for this week are Revelation 12.10, 11. Write these verses on an index card, using your preferred translation of the Bible. Carry this with you throughout the week, and spend some time each day working to memorize this passage. How should these verses encourage you in your walk with and work for the Lord?
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the LORD Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
He will subdue the peoples under us,
And the nations under our feet.
He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah
God has gone up with a shout,
The LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne.
The princes of the people have gathered together,
The people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
He is greatly exalted.
T. M. Moore
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The book of Revelation is the culminating episode in the story of God’s covenant. To learn more about that covenant, and to discover the way it integrates all of Scripture into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.