Chapter 12

The Conflict of the Ages -2

Upon learning that God would deliver One through humanity Who would bring an eternal judgment upon him (Gen.3:15), Satan set out like a roaring lion seeking to devour humanity before it could produce the Offspring. Without hesitation he attacked Eve’s family by inspiring the murder of one of her sons, and causing a curse to be brought upon the other (Gen.4:8,11). Later, in an attempt to contaminate man’s bloodline some believe he influenced copulation between women and demons, resulting in the flood that destroyed all but Noah and his family (Gen.6:2-4, 8-12).

When subsequent prophecies made it clear that Jesus would be a descendant of Abraham (Gen.12:3; 18:18), Satan set out to exterminate the nation Israel (the origin of Antisemitism). He murdered their children (Acts 7:19; Matt.2:16), attempted their genocide (Esther 3:6; Ps.83:4), and morally corrupted them as a people (Num.31:16).

Notwithstanding, God’s plan was not defeated, humanity survived, and inside humanity the nation chosen of God from whom the Messiah would come (Israel) survived. Therefore, in a tense confrontation with the woman, having failed in every other attempt, Satan stands ready to devour the Child Himself (check—Matt.2:13).

v.5 And she bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God as to His throne.

The blessed truth is that Satan failed to prevent the birth, or to devour the Child. Jesus Christ was born (Luke 1:8-14), “The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst man” (Jo.1:14). Moreover, Jesus completed His earthly ministry, and following His death and resurrection was caught up to heaven (Acts 1:9), seated with the Father, and given rule, authority, power and dominion over all things (Eph.1:17-23). Despite every evil intention Satan waged to prevent it, Satan has been defeated.

Okay, let’s consider it.

When Satan failed to avert the birth of Christ, or to devour Him (Matt.2:19-20), he set out to obstruct and spoil His ministry. He was there tempting Jesus to compromise Himself as His ministry began (Matt.4:1-11). Throughout its duration, he influenced many to mock Christ’s Divine authority (Matt.12:24). He silenced others from openly speaking of Him (Jo.7:13), and assaulted some closest to Him (Jo.12:10).

When that failed, he launched his plan to murder Him (Jo.11:53; Matt.12:14); ultimately choosing crucifixion to destroy Him knowing that Christ would be cursed by God in crucifixion (check—Deu.21:23).

But Satan failed to see the true intention of God. For it was the will of God that Christ be crucified (Jo.18:32), and the purposes of the Father for Jesus to be made a curse (Gal.3:13). When God raised Christ from the dead three days later, however, it was too late for Satan. The glorious triumph of God over the works of the devil became one of public record. “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Col.2:15). Scripture tells us that Satan “would not have crucified the Lord of glory” had he known (I Cor.2:7-8).

So the Child was born, and having prevailed, was caught up to God and given authority to rule all nations with a rod of iron (Ps.2:9; Rev.19:15).

v.6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

The balance of this chapter surrounds the bitter struggle that ensues between the dragon and the woman and the subsequent persecution of her offspring. It marks the middle of the Tribulation throughout the days remaining until the end of Tribulation.

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