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Friday, September 22nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 12

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. Announce: Adoption.
    2. Writing in Moody Monthly, Carl Armerding recounted his experience of watching a wildcat in a zoo. “As I stood there,” he said, “an attendant entered the cage through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom. Carefully closing the door, he proceeded to sweep the floor of the cage.” He observed that the worker had no weapon to ward off an attack by the beast. In fact, when he got to the corner of the cage where the wildcat was lying, he poked the animal with the broom. The wildcat hissed at him and then lay down in another corner of the enclosure. Armerding remarked to the attendant, “You certainly are a brave man.” “No, I ain’t brave,” he replied as he continued to sweep. “Well, then, that cat must be tame.” “No,” came the reply, “he ain’t tame.” “If you aren’t brave and the wildcat isn’t tame, then I can’t understand why he doesn’t attack you.” Armerding said the man chuckled, then replied with an air of confidence, “Mister, he’s old—and he ain’t got no teeth.” [same w/Satan]
    3. Starting with this chapter a new division of the book begins. A new series of prophecies.
      1. The next 2 chapters reveal a graver aspect of the situation.
      2. We step into the war room. We get behind the scenes. We meet God & man’s spiritual foe(s).
  2. SATAN’S FORMER HATRED FOR GOD & HIS PEOPLE! (1-5) (Outline Bible; Willmington H.L.)
    1. Satan’s Hatred for God’s NATION! (1,2)
    2. Defining the players:
      1. A Woman – represents Israel. (who brought the Savior into the world)
      2. 4 women are revealed in Rev.: [Jez., This Woman, The Harlot, & The Bride]
      3. The Church? - The church didn’t bring Jesus into the world (but visa-versa)! - Also, if it’s the church “ut oh”...she’s pregnant!}
      4. Mary? - problems w/vs.6 (Mary never did this, nor will) {it’s persecution for 3 1/2 yrs. in great trib.}
      5. Israel? - Bingo! See Gen.37:9.
        1. Sun, moon & stars don’t Describe but Identify her.
      6. The Child – is Jesus Christ. (5)
        1. After a long pregnancy, she finally gives birth to the Messiah.
      7. A Red Dragon – is Satan. (see vs.9)
        1. Tried to keep Jesus from being born.
        2. Tried to kill Him once he was born.
      8. Examples from being born:
        1. Prophesied back in Gen3:15 “And I will put enmity Between you(Satan) and the woman(Israel), And between your seed and her Seed(Mary/virgin birth) ; He (JC) shall bruise your head, And you(Satan) shall bruise His heel."
        2. Attack killing off Abel. (Gen.4)
        3. Polluting the godly line of Seth. (Gen.6)
        4. Attacks against Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob!
        5. Producing a pseudo-son of promise in Ishmael. (Gen.16)
        6. The new Pharaoh over Egypt “commanded all his people, saying, Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive." (Ex.1:22)
        7. Attacks against David by Saul!
        8. Attacks against the Tribe of Judah! [Read 2 Kings 11:1-3/Joash]
        9. Attacks against by Haman, in Esther!
      9. Examples once he was born:
        1. Attacks by Herod slaughter of male children under 2.
        2. Attacks by temptation in the wilderness. [cast yourself down]
        3. Attacks by Judas.
      10. Examples before His return:
        1. Attacks of Anti-Semitism - Hitler’s Holocaust!
        2. Attacks from the whole Middle East (if not the world) against Israel!
        3. Attacks to come from The Antichrist!
    3. Satan’s Hatred for God’s SON! (3-5)
    4. Why Dragon? - His intense cruelty! (you don’t make a pet out of a dragon...well Herman Munster did but…)
    5. 7 heads & 10 horns –Relate him to 13:1 (explain there)
    6. 7 diadems - Show his authority & power.
    7. The tail – vast size & strength.
    8. 1/3 of the Stars (angels) - Referring to that ancient event of the rebellion of 1/3 of the angels.
      1. 2 Pet. 2:4 “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”
      2. Jude 6 “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;”
    9. Attempted Assassination at Jesus’ birth! (4b)
    10. And you thought you had a hard labor? – When you’re giving birth the last thing you want is a red dragon in your room waiting to eat your baby! (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the book of Revelation; pg.98)
    11. Satan Loses at His Ascension! (5)
    1. ​​​​​​​Persecuted by Satan! (13,15,17)
    2. (17) Israel has been spared from water twice, at the red Sea & at the river Jordan.
      1. This could be speaking of a great army dispatched by Satan to destroy the fleeing Israelites?
      2. If he can’t beat Jesus, nor the woman, then he tries for anyone he can get.
    3. Protected by God! (6,14,16)
    4. Satan can handle you as an individual; but he cannot handle the One to whom you have joined!
    5. (14) Edom? - Could well be the place because Christ will come to Edom (Petra area) upon is return to take vengeance on Bozrah & deliver a remnant of Jewish believers. (Is.63:1-6)
      1. See Eagles wings in Ex.19:4. [some see eagles wings as U.S. – nay!]
      2. When the woman moves swiftly into the wilderness… one entitled this “You go girl!”
    6. (16) Divine assistance.
    7. The Defeat & Dismissal of Satan! (7-9)
    8. Defeat! (7,8) “but they did not prevail”
    9. Satan obviously has access to God’s ear/throne. (Job 1,2 & Zech.3)
    10. The bible is clear about the outcome of the great cosmic struggle (We win!)
    11. We don’t understand exactly how there is a battle in heaven, or what it looks like?
    12. Dismissal! (9) “Cast down to the earth”
    13. Different names & titles for Satan:
      1. Satan – (Heb) “accuser or adversary”.
        1. He has the “gift” to point out the flaws & sins in God’s people!
          1. Q: Do you have this same gift?
      2. Devil – (Gk) “slanderer”.
        1. Speaking slander to man about God (i.e. Eve); And speaking slander to God about man (accusing).
      3. The wicked one – the title not that he is wicked in himself, but is also the source of all wickedness in the world.
      4. The tempter – none escape his temptations. He continually tempts men to sin.
        1. He also uses “lies, deception, murder, doubt, guilt, fear, confusion, sickness, envy, & pride” & any other possible means to hinder a Christian’s witness & usefulness.
        2. Q: Which does he nail you with most?
      5. Cunning – the wiles(or subtle methods) of the devil.
        1. He can transform himself into an angel of light.
        2. Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure and pays with pain; he promises profit and pays with loss; he promises life and pays with death. - Thomas Brooks
      6. The serpent; Be-elzebul; the ruler of this world; the prince of the power of the air; the evil one…
      7. His limits!
      8. He is mighty but not almighty! [he even had to ask permission to go into the swine]
      9. He can be resisted. “Resist the devil & he will flee from you.” James 4:7
        1. How? By submitting unto God; & dawning the whole armor of God.
      10. He does not know the future or read our minds or know our thoughts.
      11. Q: What about reports of witch doctors or fortune tellers giving accurate reports about people?
      12. He can know what I ate for breakfast if he saw me.
      13. He can know what I said in a private conversation if he was listening.​​​​​​​
        1.,28 “Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these:”
    14. The Voice from Heaven! (10-12)
    15. When Satan is confined to earth, his activities are intensified against humanity. (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.45.)
      1. He realizes his meter’s running. His countdown clock is winding down
    16. Q: Are you a Victim or a Victor when it comes to daily sp. battle?
      1. We are engaged in battle!“Christians we are in our finest hour!”
      2. When 9-11 hit we were bumped up to “Threatcon Delta”!
        1. [Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta]
        2. These are “THREAT CONditions”
          1. Lowest to highest state of alert!
        3. It’s not practical to always stay in highest alert.
        4. Only by the grace of God it is not always Delta (can’t imagine that?)
    17. 3 Steps to being more than conquerors:
      1. Appropriate the complete protection of Christ! [full armor]
      2. Once fully armed…pray!
      3. Whatever attacks God allows Satan to wage against us, we are to stand firm!
    18. Q: How do we handle the struggle?
      1. ​​​​​​​(Eph.6:10) Be strong in the Lord! – Be in the Power of His might!
        1. This is the way of escape…there is no other!
        2. This is a call to intelligent combat!
    19. There is a fable which tells of three apprentice devils who were coming to this earth to finish their apprenticeship. They were talking to Satan, the chief of the devils, about their plans to tempt and ruin men. The first said, "I will tell them there is no God." Satan said, "That will not delude many, for they know that there is a God." The second said, "I will tell men there is no hell." Satan answered, "You will deceive no one that way; men know even now that there is a hell for sin." The third said, "I will tell men there is no hurry." "Go," said Satan, "and you will ruin them by the thousand." The most dangerous of all delusions is that there is plenty of time. The most dangerous day in a man's life is when he learns that there is such a word as tomorrow. There are things which must not be put off, for no man knows if for him tomorrow will ever come.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Revelation 12". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/revelation-12.html. 2017.
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