2020 07 12 AM – Look!! Christ Conquers for Her – Revelation 12

Look!…Messianic Eye
Well, you know the book of Revelation is very much like that Magic Eye book.
The Lord Jesus comes to the apostle John (And through John to us) with visions.
And These visions encourage us to go beyond the shapes and patterns of our lives.
To Stop focusing only on our family circle
Or on the public square.
And to instead allow the eye of faith to adjust our spiritual vision.
• To provide us with deeper spiritual insight and
• to see more clearly the hand of God at work…. behind every scene.
To look at the pages of our lives (and the chapters of history)
• Not with Magic eye
• but with a Messianic eye..(an eye of faith in Christ)…
As we stare into the visions of Rev 12 this morning we want to see that
Christ conquers the Devil!
…and he does so on behalf of His beloved church
….by becoming her Promise, her Pardon and her Protection

  1. Look! Christ is her Promise (v1-6)
    Now, the vision that appears to John behind the pages of history… is one of cosmic
    spiritual warfare.
    And the first aspect of Christ victory…. Which we will see… is His fulfilment
    of covenant promise. (vv1-6)
    At first it may be difficult to see and understand the vision.
    Because like much of Revelation it is steeped in Old Testament imagery.
    A) The Woman
    The first figure to emerge in John’s vision is a woman… clothed in cosmic lights.
    Look at the celestial bodies that adorn her (v1):
    “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman
    clothed with the sun,
    with the moon under her feet,
    and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”
    Who is this woman?
    i. Clothed with the Sun

Well the first thing we should do is search the Old Testament.
• So children if you take a concordance (many of you will have one in the back of your
study bibles)
• and you look up some of the key words… like sun and moon and twelve stars….
• One of the first places you will be directed to ….is a very similar reference way back in
Gen 37:9-11.
So turn with me there in your bibles…. Gen 37:9-11
What do we read?
9 Then he (Joseph) dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I
have dreamed another dream. Behold,
• the sun,
• the moon,
• and eleven stars ….were bowing down to me.”
10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to
him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed?
• Shall I
• and your mother
• and your brothers
indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous
of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
Ok children. Who in this passage is having a dream?….Joseph
And what is it….that Joseph sees in his dream?….sun…moon and stars!
And as Jacob (Josephs father) listens to Josephs dream what does he understand?
• Who is the sun?…Himself! (Jacob)
• Who is the moon?… Josephs mother
• And who are the eleven stars?….Josephs brothers…
And why is one star missing?…. because Joseph is star number 12!
You see how in this famous Hebrew dream
The patriarch Joseph envisages… the blossoming family of Jacob,
The imagery of a cluster of celestial bodies – the sun, the moon and 12 stars.
• The OT covenant community….
• The people of God….
• The 12 tribes of Israel…
And so when The woman of John’s vision shines brightly
….arrayed with the radiance and holiness of God’s covenant nation.
…She represents the entire OT church.
ii. In Birth Pains
And John sees that God’s holy nation is in pain!
The woman is pregnant.
But notice the woman is not only pregnant.
She is already in full blown labour! (v2)
2 She was pregnant…. and was crying out in birth pains…. and the agony of
giving birth.
Now boys and girls. Remember what we need to do to interpret the book of Revelation?
Right! We need to go back to Old Testament imagery.
So. What does the Old Testament say about a woman and birth?
Well, remember the very first covenant promise of God was given in the context of birth
there in Gen 3:15:
Now my family know all about pregnant mums right now.
As you know – Ali is carrying our number 6.
And being only 2 weeks away from her due date…. Ali knows all about the pains and
discomforts of heavy pregnancy.
In fact we have started to refer to poor Ali’s need to sit down and take the load off her
back and her hips and her feet by saying that ‘mum is having another mid-wife crisis’.
Pregnancy can be very hard!
Adam and Eve had sinned by throwing their lot in with the serpent in rebelling against
But God in mercy came and promised a seed to be born of a woman
• who would fracture the alliance of mankind with satan
• and replace it with an enmity
• by which the son of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.
But for thousands of years, he did… not…. come!
And then later remember the promises to Judah of a Lion King?
But for hundreds of years he did not come.
And over and over again
• All through Israel’s painful history
• God kept promising that Israel would give birth to a Messiah Son.
Isa 9:6 –
Isa 26:17
Isa 54:1-4
Isa 66:7-13
Micah 5:2-4
So this is the picture.
Richard Philips writes:
“Wrapped in the sun, she is glorious, bearing the light of God; with the moon under
her feet, she exercises spiritual authority; the crown of stars on her head is the
laurel of victory in Christ; and as a pregnant mother, she had the task of bringing
Christ into the world.”1
Phillips, R. D. (2017). Revelation. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (p. 343). 1
Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
B) The Dragon
But now the picture worsens.
Because the woman is not only in distress… she is in danger.
A second sign appears.
The woman is not alone! (v3)
“3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon,
with seven heads and ten horns,
and on his heads seven diadems.
4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.
And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she
bore her child …he might devour it.”
I wander if any of you have ever been in danger from a wild animal
….who posed a real threat ….to your life?
I can think of a number of times in my life where I was in danger
• of crocodiles,
• emus,
• Wild dogs,
• snakes.
I. Dragon
But the dragon of John’s vision is something else!
He is clearly identified for us in 12:9 as
“…that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole
The greek word here for ‘dragon’ is a word that is often used in the old testament to
translate the Hebrew ‘serpent’.
Where in history do you first meet with a serpent?
• Right! In the very beginning.
• We just mentioned it…
The Serpent appeared as a treasonous tempter…. to our first parents (Adam and Eve)
in the garden of Eden in their state of perfection (Gen 3:1):
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the
And in heeding the devils lies and half-truths
….all of mankind was cast into sin.
You see this dragon is no mere crocodile or snake.
This dragon is the seditious serpent… who poisoned the very fountainhead of humanity.
And by causing the vice-regent of creation (man) to rebel against the Lord
….he brought a curse on the whole world
which has led to every sin,
• every suffering,
• and every sickness
• ever since
• (including all that are caused by the wild animals that we fear!).
ii. Red
No wonder the dragon is red!
Dripping with blood…. and death!
Jesus described him as a murderer from the beginning….
And yet…
• though Cain rose up to kill Abel (the seed of Eve)
• And though Pharaoh rose up to drown the infants of Israel
• And though Judah was almost scattered forever in exile
The great red dragon could not cause Israel to miscarry the seed.
iii. Seven Heads
But the Dragon is raging… and resourceful… and relentless.
Notice he has seven heads and ten horns! (v3)
He has seven heads because seven is the number of completeness and perfection.
Blasphemously he seeks to imitate and usurp the perfections of God.
And his seven heads make him dextrous
• so that his heads and fangs are wielded simultaneously in a multitude of evil enterprises
• whether in the state
• or the church
• or the school
• or the family
• ….or the individual ….human heart.
iv. Ten Horns
And this grotesque dragon has ten horns.
Symbolising his power and strength
• as he fortifies himself against the Lord…
• and tries to evert the promise of God…
• of a son of a woman who would crush his head.
v. Seven Diadems
And in his insatiable pride and arrogance…
he convinces himself that he could truly reign in the place of God!
Notice that he takes to himself seven diadems (one for each of his grotesque heads)….
• He usurps earthly dominion from God’s image-bearers
• He gladly wields control over the nations and peoples who have sold their souls to his
Paul Gardner writes:
“Satan is the evil angelic guide for corrupt kings, nations, and kingdoms.… This would
include the Roman empire and its Caesars who wanted to be worshipped as God, as well
as more modern examples that often come in the form of humanistic societies and
governments who treat God and his Word and his people with disdain, and persecute
Paul Gardner, Revelation: The Compassion and Protection of Christ, Focus on the Bible (Tain, 2
Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2008), 169.
vi. His tail swept
And so it is no surprise that we read in v 4
4 His tail swept down a third….. of the stars of heaven… and cast them to the earth.
The dragon’s influence is immense!
• His tail assaults heaven itself
• (symbolised by a destabilisation of a whole multitude of stars).
He disrupts the order and institutions of God.
• He has power to even carry along with him angels
• and representatives of the church
• in his delusion and rebellion.3
But because he has not been able to stop the promised Seed from gestating in the womb
of Israel,
• he turns his attention now to the messiah himself… who is about to be born
• And looming over the woman he eagerly plots to devour Him… before he is ever laid
down in the manger (v4)
“And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she
bore her child… he might devour it.”
Isa 14:12 may suggest that just as The devil was glorious like a morning star who fell to earth – 3
so he took 1/3 of the other angelic ‘stars’ with him.
Certainly in Rev 12:7 we read that war arose in heaven between ‘Michael and his angels’ against
‘the dragon and his angels’.
C) The Male Child
Only now does the third figure emerge in John’s vision.
The all-important ‘male child’ of v5.
5 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,
A) She Gave Birth to a Male Child
This is truly incredible!
As I said earlier My wife is 38 weeks pregnant
….and she hardly wants to feed the dogs…. let alone fight a dragon!
A Pregnant woman… in the middle of labour pains…. Stalked by a formidable dragon
intent on devouring her child….
And yet at last…. This woman… the Lord’s covenant people…. (through the virgin Mary)
• gives birth….
• To the seed of promise…
• The Messiah of King David!….
• the male child… the Lord Jesus – the Christ!
• … and Satan can do nothing… to stop it!
When you read the Old Testament – remember that.
All of it is a story of labour and child-birth… leading to the incarnation… of the Son of
B) He will Rule with a Rod of Iron
And just as Psalm 2 Prophesied.
While all the nations raged (Greek, Roman…. Jewish).
While all the peoples plotted vain things against the Lord and His anointed
• Pharisees,
• Sadducees,
• High priests
• and Herods,
• and governors …
• and even the traitor Judas.
Even as Satan swoops in to personally tempt Jesus in the desert…
To sully his righteousness…. and thwart his salvation:
Yet the Lord decrees of this male child (Ps 2:7-9)
“You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Brothers and sisters, Satan is a terrifying and ever near threat
But in the gospel… God promises to us…. HIMSELF!
If Christ Himself is committed… to be the mediator and perfecter of the covenant…
then how can any one…. of God’s promises to you…. fall to the ground… and fail?
In Christ the Promised Messiah is delivered.
And all the promises… all the promises of God…. are yes and amen…in HIM!

  1. Look! Christ is her Pardon (vv7-12)
    So this is the first way in which Christ is our victory – he is the fulfilment of the promises
    of God for us.
    But let’s turn now to our second point – Christ is the church’s PARDON. (vv7-12)
    Now you could assume from reading OT prophecy that Christ would only come once
    ….and that his coming would accomplish:
    • The salvation of the church from sin,
    • the judgement of the wicked
    • and the restoration of creation in a new heavens and a new earth.
    But you would be wrong!
    • The vision clearly portrays Christs birth….
    • and ascension…
    • without… the church’s glorification!
    Look again at v 5-6
    5 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,
    …..6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God,
    in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
    The woman has to flee!
    • The rule of Christ has begun… and yet the church of Christ is not at rest!
    • She has been left behind in this broken world!
    What has gone wrong for the church?!
    • The Lord has fulfilled his promise of a Messiah through her
    • …but now the Messiah seems to reign without her!
    Instead…. her experience is more like that of the Israelites in the exodus from Egypt:
    • On one hand redeemed from slavery to the despotic serpent king Pharaoh.
    • And yet on the other… fleeing into the wastes of the Sinai desert… with apparently no
    promised land in sight!
    A. The Dragon Thrown Down
    But just as in the exodus…. God has not abandoned the woman!
    Far from it.
    Christ’s reign has in fact accomplished something very special for the church.
    • At his ascension, Christ initiated a war in heaven
    • which has led to the expulsion… of the dragon!
    You see. The bible indicates that up until the coming of the Messiah,
    • the Dragon exercised greater freedom in his reign of terror over the world.
    • And he retained a degree of access to heaven.
    And so we read for example in Job 1:6;
    6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the
    Lord…, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have
    you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and
    from walking up and down on it.”
    But now in Rev 12:7-9
    7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the
    dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any
    place for them in heaven.
    9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and
    Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels
    were thrown down with him.”
    B. The Accuser Expelled
    And the significance of this event is explained by the pronouncement made by a heavenly
    voice from vss 10-12
    10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the
    kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our
    brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
    11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their
    testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
    12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and
    sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is
    Did you notice something beautiful in vs 8?
    8 but he (Dragon) was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
    And v 10
    for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down,
    Christ’s representation of his church,,,, at the Fathers right hand,,, leaves no room for
    Satan to even appear before God!
    Satan is defeated in the throne room of God by the blood of the Lamb.
    • The accuser is thrown down.
    • Job’s accuser…. My accuser….. Your accuser.
    • His accusations have no legal standing
    • There is no longer any place for an accuser in heaven! Hallelujah!
    C. The Blood of The Lamb
    Can you see how Christ’s conquest …is the church’s conquest?
    What appeared to be the end of the Messiah – his bloody crucifixion and death….
    Proved to be His victory. Christ rose again from the tomb.
    And as the new head of redeemed mankind – our flesh and blood is in heaven:
    • perfect,
    • holy,
    • undefiled.
    And so if you believe in Him
    • If you have repented of your sin and placed your trust in His blood.
    • Christ’s holiness is yours.
    • There is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
    • Vs 11…. You have conquered the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and by the word
    of your testimony.
    D. The word of your Testimony
    As a church we are about to commence a membership class.
    • It is good thing to grow in our understanding of doctrine and of membership
    responsibilities and privileges.
    • If you are interested, we very warmly invite you to attend.
    • But how tragic to learn all of this… to attend classes…..and maybe even to
    affirm all the truths of our creeds & confessions…to even ‘DO’ a
    profession…. and yet to miss Christ!
    On the other hand, one of the greatest privileges we have as elders
    • (as we did at both of our last session meetings with Linda and Charlie and
    • is to hear and see the power of God at work –
    • transforming the lives of His people
    • as they (not just ‘DO’)….but BEAR…. true testimony to the life-changing
    power… of the blood of the Lamb.
  2. Look! Christ is her Protection (v13-17)
    Brothers and sisters in the man child you have a champion
    I. The champion of God’s promises to His people
    II. The champion of God’s pardon for sinners
    III. But also thirdly…. lastly… and very briefly
    • The champion of God’s Protection over his church
    That is what we see next. (vv13-17)
    A. The Dragon Pursued Her
    Notice initially the church’s ongoing danger in v 12-13:
    But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath,
    because he knows that his time is short!”
    Did you notice the two things there… that are fuelling the dragons fury?
    Firstly he is utterly indignant over his expulsion from heavens courts and his exile into the
    But woe to you, O earth and sea, …for the devil has come down to you …in great
    And secondly the dragon is livid with rage…
    • because he knows…. that his time is short!”
    The dragon has been backed into a corner… and he is not going down without a fight!
    He may be defeated, but he will facilitate:
    • as much debauchery on the earth…..
    • and he will drag as many souls with him into the pit…
    as he can possibly muster.
    No wonder we read in v13
    13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the
    woman who had given birth to the male child.
    When I was young I remember watching a news clip which replayed the video of a
    moment in a boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson.
    And even now I remember the news-presenter prefacing the clip by saying, if you
    are squeamish, you may wish to avert your eyes now.
    And of course – once you hear that – you can’t look away right!
    And so the news reel proceeded to play an image
    of the moment that Mike Tyson
    bit a chunk of Holyfields ear….clean off …with his teeth!
    • Frustrated.
    • Defeated.
    • Furious at the prowess of his opponent.
    • Backed against the ropes.
    • The clock-running down
    • Horrified to see his dreams of wearing the belt of a champion.. fading away
    • And willing to stoop to any level…to cause his victor suffering
    Brothers and sisters the devil has been knocked down to earth….
    • And he knows that his time is short….
    • And he will tear off Christs flesh with his teeth….
    • just to express his hatred of the Messiah… in His victory.
    …and you… are the body of Christ!
    B. But….
    But…. Vs 14 begins with this fantastic word ; “But”!
    The Dragon can have all the evil intentions that he might….
    …BUT….the Messiah… who now reigns in heaven – Protects his people!
    i. Two Wings
    Notice very quickly two forms of protection the church of Christ receives
    Firstly we see in v 14
    14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from
    the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and
    times, and half a time.
    Eagles wings reminds us of how the Lord describes his care of OT Israel
    as he carried them across the Sinai desert and the Negev.
    Into the promised land of canaan.
    • It speaks of the Lords strength to carry his people ….out of all danger and evil
    And notice that there in the barrenness and loneliness and dryness of this world
    • Christ the heavenly manna nourishes her
    • for the entire duration of her wilderness wanderings
    ii. The Earth came to Help
    And notice secondly that the Lord protects his people
    …not only by being her strong wings and her nourishment
    … but by keeping her from the deceptions of satan.
    The woman is never to think that her life in the wilderness is a peaceful seclusion.
    • No…. her time in the wilderness is a time of trial and testing….
    • But it is also a time…. in which God will demonstrate his mighty works of
    deliverance and grace.
    And the manner in which the dragon stalks the woman is not new. (v15)
    15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her
    away with a flood.
    The ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world
    Strikes with his weapon of choice again – his deceptive mouth!
    • His words, and plans and ideas seem pleasant, fresh – like rivers of water….
    • But he has only one intention… and that is to sweep her away with a flood!
    Here again the Christ protects her:
    16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and
    swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth
    Notice even the very structure and institutions of God’s created earth…
    • respond to the Lord…
    • And restrict and frustrate satan’s ploys.
    Isn’t that an encouragement!
    The world can pour out as many abortion laws as it likes in the name of women’s
    • but God has built motherly protection into the fabric of life
    • and the conscience of her mind.
    The world can politicise LGBT agendas as much it likes under a guise of civil
    • but the Lord has built heterosexual marriage
    • and male/female distinction into the fabric of biology, reproduction and family
    Communism can seek to retain power with a flood of regimental atheism… and yet
    China is on track to have the largest population of christians in the world by 2030.
    Islam can suppress the word of truth with the sword…all it likes…
    and yet blossoming in the deserts of the middle east are some of the most
    extraordinary trophies of Christ’s victory over sin and death and the devil.
    In Conclusion then church of Jesus Christ..
    Never lose sight of this vision of your Messiah and his church
    The church is involved in a violent conflict.
    (Never in any way underestimate the power or the perversity of your enemy.)
    But so too… never underestimate the far greater
    and pardon
    and protection
    That are yours in Christ…
    Because he has conquered the dragon…. On your behalf.

And all God’s people said…Amen!