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Lesson 8: Satan, a Defeated Enemy *

Introduction: I hate to lose! Lawyers are not supposed to take their cases personally. Instead, lawyers are supposed to do their best job of presenting the evidence, and a judge decides who is right. Since nearly all of my cases involve defending my client's religious liberty or free speech, I take winning or losing personally. Why? Because the outcome not only affects my client, it affects the freedom of many others. That is one reason why I'm glad I'm a winner when it comes to the ultimate religious liberty fight! Satan will be defeated! Let's plunge into our Bible and study that defeat!

  1. The Woman Wearing the Sun


    1. Read Revelation 12:1. Who is this woman? In history, we find pagans who worshiped the sun. Is she a sun worshiper? (Read Revelation 19:7, Revelation 21:9, and Song of Solomon 6:10. This woman represents the Church, she represents God's people. The Church is God's bride. The Old Testament has numerous references to God's people being like His wife.)


    2. Read Revelation 12:2 and Revelation 12:5-6. To whom does this woman give birth? (Jesus!)


      1. This may seem like multi-tasking at first: we are both Jesus' bride and mother. But, look at this more closely. If the Church on earth is God's bride, and Jesus was born of a woman named Mary, then God the Father and Jesus the Son fits this illustration perfectly and consistently.)


  2. The Red Dragon Wearing Horns and Crowns


    1. Read Revelation 12:3 and Revelation 12:7-9. Who is this dragon? (Revelation calls him Satan.)


    2. This dragon is big and has seven heads. Why seven heads? We have seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, and the seventh-day Sabbath. Why does Satan have seven heads? (In many things Satan mimics God. He has a counterfeit for many of God's principles and assets.)


    3. Read Revelation 12:4. In past lessons I often talk about God's signs in the galaxy. Are these genuine stars? (No. This is reasonably understood to refer to angels who served in heaven and not literal stars. Keep this in mind when we discuss things that appear to happen in the galaxy.)


      1. Contemplate this a minute. You and I were born with an inclination to sin. Our nature is sinful. Angels in heaven were created perfect. Their nature should have been righteous. How smart, skillful and cunning is Satan? (Perhaps that is why he has "seven" heads - to reflect his intelligence.)


        1. Do you know someone who was very smart, but because of a sinful life seems to have lost that intelligence? Do you know people whose evil emotions cause them to do stupid things? (My guess is that Satan has lost some of his intelligence. His evil emotions may rule most of the time.)


  3. The Dragon Accuser


    1. Read Revelation 12:10. What does Satan do to you? (He accuses you.)


      1. Are his accusations true? (Most likely.)


      2. This says that Satan accuses you before God, does Satan also beat you up over your confessed sins?


    2. Read Revelation 12:11. What does Jesus do for you? (He takes away our sins by His sacrifice at the cross. Claim this when Satan is beating you up!)


      1. The last part of Revelation 12:10 says that Satan has been "hurled down." How did we win? (God won. But, so did we. One element of this victory is that we "overcame him" by grace and the other element is "the word of their testimony.")


        1. What does the word of their testimony mean? (Testimony is giving proof of something. What we say and do gives proof for God's side of the battle.)


      2. Notice the rest of the attitude of those who overcome: they do not love their lives so much that they shrink from death. As a practical matter, what does this mean? (They testify about Jesus even if it puts their life at risk.)


        1. Compare your attitude. Do you avoid standing up for Jesus because it might damage your reputation, your job, or your comfort?


    3. Read Revelation 12:12. Is the fighting over? Are we now living in the wrong neighborhood? (Heaven is glad to have Satan move out, but he moved to our world and is fighting mad.)


    4. Read Revelation 12:13. What is Satan's first order of business after he is hurled to the earth? (Pursuing the woman who has just given birth.)


      1. What does that mean? (Re-read Revelation 12:5. This is what we studied earlier. The woman is God's church, His people. The child is Jesus.)


    5. Read Revelation 12:14-16. This is the same time period on which we have commented previously. Does the dragon destroy the woman? (No.)


      1. Why not? (She was given "wings" and she is aided by the "earth.")


      2. What do you think that means? (The "wings" sound like supernatural help. The "earth" sounds like she found some refuge through geography. Just like the wings took her to a desert, so this must be a geographical place of safety.)


    6. Read Revelation 12:17. How does this escape make the dragon feel? (He is enraged.)


      1. What is the result of this anger? (He is engaged in war against God's people.)


      2. Do you face hardships? How does Satan's war against God's people affect you?


    7. Let's look again at the last part of Revelation 12:17. Have you asked yourself if you are part of God's people?


      1. How does this text describe God's people? (They obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.)


        1. Does the reference to obeying God's commandments mean that these are perfect people? (Since we are all imperfect, it must mean that they take obedience to God seriously.)


        2. What does it mean to "hold to the testimony of Jesus?"


    8. Read Revelation 19:10. This says that the "testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." I've often seen these two texts paired and then the conclusion drawn that if your church has a prophet, you qualify. Is that a reasonable conclusion? What if your prophet died 100 years ago and Jesus has not come yet? Should this be understood to mean that you hold to the spirit of that one prophet?


    9. Read Joel 2:30-31. What period of time does this prophecy of Joel cover? (The end of time.)


    10. Read Joel 2:28-29. These are the immediately preceding verses. What does Joel tell us about the Spirit with regard to prophesy during the end times? (God will pour out His Spirit "on all people." One prophet may be part of the fulfillment, but if you think one prophet is enough, you disregard both Joel and Paul. See, e.g., 1 Corinthians 14:1 where Paul teaches that many should have the gift of prophecy.)


    11. Let's go back and look once more at Revelation 12:17. What was the "main issue" during the lives of the twelve disciples after Jesus died? (The question was whether Jesus was the Messiah? Is He God? Did He live a perfect life, die on our behalf, and rise to eternal life to minister on our behalf?)


      1. If that is the main issue, what does that suggest is the meaning of holding "to the testimony of Jesus?" (That points to grace - washing our robes in the blood of the lamb. The people on which Satan turns his wrath are those who take God's commandments seriously and rely on Jesus for their salvation.)


      2. Should you pray for the Holy Spirit to come in power and fall on all members of your church?


    12. Friend, would you like to be counted among God's people? Why not decide today, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to strive to live in accord with God's commandments and to call on the name of Jesus for your salvation? Pray for the Holy Spirit to come in power!


  4. Next week: Satan and His Allies.
* Copr. 2019, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2019 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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