Revelation 12:7-17: The Downfall of Satan


  • An angry but defeated enemy
  • A harassed but preserved people


The Christian life is complicated. Our experience of the world in God’s plan is nuanced and a proper understanding of it is vital to our comprehending our experience in this world. Chapter 12 is written to Christians who are under fire, they are experiencing some of the most satanic opposition God’s people have ever faced in the self-deifying reign of terror of Roman Emperors like Domitian. When the suffering is never ending you need perspective to help you understand what is happening. Chapter 12 provides this. This chapter describes two realities, a very angry defeated enemy and a harassed but preserved people. this double emphasis explains the truth that Jesus is real, He is the Christ, He has conquered yet we still do not see the final victory. The best illustration I have heard to account for these apparently contradictory truths is the difference between D Day and VD Day. The day the allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy they broke the back of Hitler’s power in Europe, it was the turning point in the war, but it was not until VD Day that Germany was finally overcome. This tension is created in the first part of the chapter when we see the dragon attempting to overcome the Man-Child, but Christ arises victorious to take His throne and rule. But there seems to be an anti-climactic note struck when just after this victory we see the mother fleeing for her life into the wilderness. V7-17 explores this tension.