THE GREAT CONFLICT

Scripture Reading: Revelation 12:1-6

“She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to His throne.” (Revelation 12:5)

Chapter 12 begins a new section of the book of Revelation. Basically what we see from Chapter 12 to the end of the book is a recapitulation of what has already been written. In some ways Revelation 12 can be thought of as the key to the entire book. It depicts the great conflicts that underlies the whole of the Scriptures as the purposes of God are revealed.

The conflict was first revealed to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden — “And I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed and her seed (Jesus Christ); He (the seed of the woman) shall bruise you on the head (a mortal blow), and you shall bruise him on the heel” (Genesis 3:15). From that day on there has been enmity between Satan and his seed and Christ and His seed. What is implicit in chapters 1-11 is now made clear: Satan is the one who orchestrates attacks upon every attempt to bring the purposes of God to fruition.

The three primary characters in this chapter are: the radiant woman, the male child, and the great red dragon. The radiant woman symbolizes the Old Testament Church, Israel. There are numerous passages in the Old Testament and the New Testament that describe the church as a woman. The Old Testament church, through whom the Messiah would come, is described as a woman in labor anxiously awaiting the birth of her child — “She was pregnant and crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth” (v. 2).

The male chid is the promised Messiah. He will rule the nations with an iron scepter (v. 5). This child was snatched up to God and to His throne. This is a clear reference to the resurrection and ascension of Christ.

The great red dragon symbolizes Satan. We know this from the reference found in Revelation 20:2 — “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” Satan’s ultimate goal is to destroy Jesus Christ and His church — “And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it” (v. 4b).

This is the great story of the Bible from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22. It is the story of the conflict between the seed of the woman and the dragon, between Christ and Satan. This is why we are in the midst of a great battle. We must remember that we are involved spiritual warfare. Be on guard, for the great enemy of Jesus Christ wants to bring us down. But, he cannot, for our Savior is protecting us and He is the conquering King of all kings who has already defeated Satan. However, as we have seen Satan knows he is defeated, but until his final disposition, he is angry and actively seeks to destroy us.

Lord Jesus, You are the King of kings. You protect me and defend me from Satan and his host of demons who want to destroy my faith and witness. Enable me to be on guard for his attacks. Give me the power to resist him when he throws his fiery darts at me. I know that You have already defeated him, but I also know that Satan is still actively trying to defeat Your people until his final end.

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One thought on “THE GREAT CONFLICT

  1. Julie Maloney says:

    Hey Shelton,
    This study of Revelation has brought comfort to me. I am so thankful for your teaching. If you decide to put this study in written form, please let me know.
    Still miss you. I am back at First ARP with my family. I felt I needed to worship with them.
    Thank you,
    Julie

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