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Revelation 12 Reading Guide


Dig In:


Chapter Overview:

Remember that we're interpreting this apocalypse (revelation) by noting that it tells the same narrative from seven different perspectives. This interpretation is called Progressive Parallelism because each perspective occurs parallel to the others timewise, but in each perspective we get progressively more insight. Here's a recap:


First half of Revelation: The conflict between the Church & the world

  • Ch. 1-3: Christ message to His church

  • Ch. 4-7: The seven seals

  • Ch. 8-11: The seven trumpets

Each section begins with the risen Christ & ends with a picture of His coming victory.



Second half of Revelation: The conflict between the Church & the world is a manifestation of the war in Heaven between Christ & satan (the dragon / accuser)

  • Ch. 12-14: The dragon & the woman

As the second half of Revelation begins, the language & symbolism gets more and more fantastic and hard to even imagine. As the complications and details add up, it is critically important for you to keep the overall theme of Revelation in mind: The Victory of the Christ & His Church over the Dragon & his Helpers.

CAST OF CHARACTERS: This fourth perspective on Christ's victory has three characters:

  1. The radiant woman: represents the Church

  2. The child: represents Christ

  3. The dragon: symbolizes Satan.

In a way that fulfills God's promise to Eve in Genesis 3, God rescues the child, the seed of the woman. Satan is cast out of heaven, and since God's elect are fully righteous in the blood of Christ, Satan can no longer accuse you before God (the name satan = the accuser), so all he can do is persecute the woman (Church)


Dig Deeper:

v11 - They [Christians] triumphed over him [Satan] by

  1. the blood of the Lamb

  2. and by the word of their testimony;

Notice that there are two ways Christians triumph over Satan. The first is obvious: we are saved by Christ's self sacrificial death and resurrection. Certainly the blood of the Lamb is sufficient for your salvation, so why does John add this second condition?


John adds this because it's through your profession of faith that the saving benefits of the blood of the Lamb are applied to your life, as it's written in Romans 10:9, if you declare with your mouth "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.


Furthermore, this word of testimony is more than just verbal expression. The phrase can also be translated as the word of their witness. In other words, as you live out your verbal profession of faith, you not only make your own salvation sure, but you defeat the temptation of the serpent.


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OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:

The serpent written about in Revelation has been active all throughout history:


Genesis 3:1 (NIV)

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”


Discuss:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL— What is the name of the angel who leads God's army (v7)?


Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God, who brings you salvation and power and opens His kingdom to you through the victory of Christ (v10)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Place your confidence in the God of heaven, who triumphs over evil by the blood of the lamb (v11)

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:


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