December 27

Read Revelation 12 -- 13

A great wonder appeared in Heaven! . . . and behold a great red dragon . . . stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her Child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a Man Child, who was to rule all nations . . . (the vision continues) and her Child was caught up unto God, and to His throne (Revelation 12:1-5). This is reference to the birth and ascension of Christ.

The vision opens in Heaven, but is immediately transferred to earth, illustrating the fact that the people of God, since the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have an unseen God who provides for His people and guides them to fulfill His will.

The great dragon . . . that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world (12:9), is always in opposition to the people of God. Satan is given four designations here: Dragon portrays his monstrous character as the enemy of God; Serpent points out his deception as in the Garden of Eden; Devil reminds us that he is a slanderer or accuser (12:10); and Satan means adversary. As Peter reminds us: Be vigilant; because your adversary the devil . . . (is) seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Although the woman fled into the wilderness, she was not forsaken, but had a place prepared of God, where they should feed her (Revelation 12:6). And the trial of the remnant of God occurs in a wilderness, which appears to be a desert-like moral condition of this world that is ruled by the great red dragon (12:9). He is the source of all suffering.

The serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood (12:15). The flood illustrates the destructive forces of Satan, seeking to overwhelm the people of God. The enemy seems so overpowering, the woman so helpless, and the desert (world) so unprotected; but victory is assured as John continues: The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth (12:16). God never fails to rescue His people from the clutches of Satan, even when we conclude there is no possible hope. In the blackest night, facing the most hopeless situation, we can rest in peace, for we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37).

The dragon was wroth (enraged, furious) with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have (held fast) the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17).

As helpless as the woman may seem, and as powerless and few as the believers may appear, in contrast to the world, Christians are able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11).

Prayer Needs:

BPM Staff: George Kopchak · Pray for Audrey Ward and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WCVJ-FM, Jefferson OH · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Sue Roscoe · Country: Maldives (300,000) 400 miles southwest of Sri Lanka · Major languages: Divehi and English · Christian witnessing is banned · 99.9% Muslim; .1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: The Word of God, confession, and prayer bring the believer into close communion with God (Nehemiah 9:2-5).

Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 2:22-23