“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:10-11, NIV).
The main figures described in these chapters are commonly interpreted like this: The woman symbolizes Israel. The dragon symbolizes Satan. The man-child refers to Jesus. The angel Michael is head of the angelic host. The offspring of the woman symbolizes Gentiles who come to faith in the Tribulation. The beast out of the sea symbolizes the antichrist. The beast out of the earth symbolizes the false prophet who promotes the antichrist.
These chapters describe a rebellion against God that is certainly of epochal or universal proportions. This world and humanity are the battleground for this cosmic conflict (see Revelation 13:6-8). Some biblical scholars and commentators even interpret the dragon’s defeat and ejection from heaven as referring to the incarnation, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus (cf. Luke 10:18, John 12:31).
Two principles frame this apocalyptic presentation of ultimate evil and rebellion in God’s created order:
- The events of this world are decreed and managed in heaven. Ultimate control and supreme authority over the universe emanate from the throne room of God, the unseen Kingdom of Heaven where God resides and rules over the universe.
- The evil that exists in this world is of cosmic proportions. The evil of this world transcends earthly events and its fundamental nature is ultimate insubordination to the dominion of God’s Kingdom and authority. In other words, evil is fundamentally a spiritual issue and must be addressed in the spiritual realm.
Because God’s Kingdom is the ruling power and government of the universe, God’s judicial system requires supreme restitution for the crime of rebellion. God unequivocally meets the legal requirements of His own justice system in Christ. Christ has come to defeat the rebellion of Satan and those of humanity who join Satan in this rebellion against God’s Kingdom: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (I John 3:8b, NIV).
The mastermind of this ultimate rebellion, Satan, has enjoined humanity in his sedition and so we live in a world in rebellion against its own Creator. This world is a spiritual battlefield in which the lesser forces of evil attempt to thwart the legal rule and reign of the supreme Creator over His created order and over human hearts and souls.
Fortunately, God implemented a comprehensive strategic plan from the beginning of time that provides liberation from this evil spiritual kingdom and membership in the Heavenly Kingdom. The citizens of God’s Kingdom are people who have renounced their citizenship that rebellious humanity retains in Satan’s evil kingdom and have sworn allegiance to King Jesus.
Jesus Christ has come once and for all as a sacrifice to establish a legal precedence in heaven for acquitting human beings who have joined in the satanic rebellion. Jesus will come a second time in authority to judge Satan and his kingdom and to sentence those of humanity who joined Satan in rebellion to God’s Kingdom
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.I John 4:4, NIV