The following is a brief overview of the articles in this series on the war in heaven, as described in Revelation 12:
THE CHARACTERS IN THIS DRAMA
The first article identifies the main characters in this chapter::
- The Male Child, who was caught up to God, is Jesus Christ
- His mother symbolizes God’s people both before and after Christ.
- The dragon, that stood ready to devour the child as soon as he is born, has a double identity:
- In the context of the war in heaven, it is Satan.
- When represented as having seven heads and ten horns, it represents the Roman Empire (See, The Seven-Headed Beasts).
The wilderness period is mentioned both before and after the war in heaven. The second article determines the chronological sequence of events in this chapter to determine when Satan was defeated and driven out of heaven. It concludes that:
- The victory in the war in heaven (Rev 12:7-9) was gained after and as a consequence of Christ’s victory on earth (Rev 12:5).
- The woman hides in the wilderness (Rev 12:6, 14) after Satan has been cast down to earth (Rev 12:13).
HOW DID MICHAEL DEFEAT THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN?
The third article discussed how Michael defeated Satan. It concluded that Christ’s death won the victory over Satan. To explain how this happened, this article discusses the origin of evil and proposes that Satan accused God of arbitrary judgment when He forgives some people but condemns others but that Christ’s sinless life refuted Satan’s accusations.
While the third article concluded that Christ’s death defeated the accuser of the brethren, verse 11 describes the victory of “our brethren” over Satan because of “their testimony?” The fourth article, therefore, asks who they are, and why their testimony was required to expel Satan from heaven
WHY EVIL STILL EXISTS
God made peace in heaven by the blood of the Lamb, but Revelation 12 indicates that the war continued on earth. This article asks: Why did God not make an end to evil immediately after the Cross?
For further reading on Revelation, I recommend Jon Paulien’s commentary. For general discussions of theology, I recommend Graham Maxwell, who you will find on the excellent Pineknoll website.