Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #348 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Revelation 12 today and our focus is on What is the REAL Biblical Story of Christmas? The Truth THEY Don’t Want You to Know!! 😉 What is the Most Hair-Raising Bible Verse? + How Can We Conquer and Defeat Satan? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in . Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
About 15 or so years ago, I had a bit of a revelation, and I was far from the first, or the 10,000th to realize it, but it was most certainly an epiphany for me. Revelation 12 is a Christmas passage! It talks about the birth of Jesus, and, I am pretty sure it is the third longest passage in the New Testament that describes the birth of Jesus, so it is a big deal. I was so struck by this passage, that I actually wrote what would become my first book based on it – originally called “The Dragon Who Would Eat Christmas,” I changed it to “The Baby Who Overcome a Dragon,” because I didn’t want the titular character to be Satan! Let’s go ahead and read our chapter – it is most certainly one of my favorites, and one of the most interesting chapters of Scripture.
This chapter of Revelation really does tell a side of the Christmas story that most people don’t realize is in the Bible (note: I was being completely silly with title of today’s episode – evidenced by the winky face.) Matthew 1 and Luke 2 tell the very familiar parts of Christmas, but this chapter gives us a look into the spiritual side of things, and here we discover that there is a strong spiritual warfare element to Christmas. Check this out:
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven crowns. 4 Its tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth it might devour her child. 5 She gave birth to a Son, a male who is going to rule all nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and to his throne. Revelation 12:1-5
Not every commentator agrees, but I believe with 99.3 percent certainty, that this passage is exactly what it appears to be – a description of the birth of Jesus from a spiritual perspective. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul notes that, on this side of eternity, we “see through a glass, darkly,” and I believe by that he means that we don’t see everything that is going on around us- the purposes and plans of God, as well as spiritual things like angels and demons. Revelation 12 here seems to be giving us a clearer look than normal at what went on around the birth of Jesus, and unsurprisingly, we see that Satan tried to violently stop the birth of Jesus. This certainly could be an extremely symbolic way to refer to Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus by killing all infant boys 2 and under in Bethlehem, but I suspect that was only part of the plan of the enemy. The murderous scheme of Herod seems to have taken place some time after the birth of Jesus – months, or even more than a year – but this attempt of Satan to snuff out the life of Jesus happens right at His birth, and it is thwarted. Which brings up the biggest question I have about this passage. HOW WAS IT THWARTED??! Let’s read what John wrote again, “And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth it might devour her child. 5 She gave birth to a Son,” Revelation 12:4-5 Do you notice what is missing? Somewhere between the Dragon/Satan being about to chomp down on the baby and the birth of Jesus – SOMETHING happens. What that something is – we’ve no idea – we are just told that the baby was born. Satan still tried to kill Him, but was unsuccessful, as Jesus and His family fled into the wilderness. Perhaps this is an instance of John being told to not write down what happened, very similar to Revelation 10:4, “ And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders said, and do not write it down!” Whatever happened, we can praise God that EVERY attempt of Satan to destroy Jesus prematurely ended in failure.
What is the most hair-raising Bible verse? Well, I am not 100% sure that Revelation 12:7 is the SINGLE MOST CHILLING Bible verse ever, but I am pretty sure it is up there: “7 Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought” This goes against almost everything we think we know about Heaven. How in the world could there be WAR in HEAVEN? It is mind-boggling just to think about, right? Every time I hear that verse, or read it -the hairs on my arm tingle. War in Heaven is a terrifying thought, made better only by the fact that the dragon was defeated and cast out of Heaven.
Final topic: How can we defeat Satan? Well, here’s the thing – in terms of power, intelligence, cunning, ability and every other measure- we cannot beat Satan anymore than an injured baby could outbox Iron Mike Tyson in his prime. The mismatch in power and experience is vast – too vast to comprehend, and any thought otherwise is both arrogant and ignorant of what the Bible teaches about Satan, and yet- despite his power and cunning, there is indeed a way for Christians to overcome and prevail in the battle against Satan, but it is probably not what you expect:
the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them
before our God day and night,
has been thrown down.
11 They conquered him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
for they did not love their lives
to the point of death. Revelation 12:10-11
The gospel – the story of our rescue by the death and sacrifice of Jesus – shedding His blood so that our sins would be forgiven – is the one thing about us that has the power to conquer a foe as great as the enemy. So – proclaim your testimony – which isn’t about you at all, is it? It is about the blood of the Lamb that has saved and redeemed you, and that testimony, combined with the cleansing of the Lamb’s blood, can and will prevail against the enemy!
Bible Memory passage for the month of December: Revelation 5:12, “They said with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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