The Present Salvation – 22

Revelation 12:1-17

This chapter is divided into three parts. It paints a picture of redemptive history of the past, the present, and the future. Last week we looked at verses 1-6 and how the coming of Christ defanged the ancient serpent, the devil. This week we will dig into verses 7-12 and see the present battle, but more importantly, the present victory that we now have in Jesus. Next week we will finish the chapter and get a glimpse of the future redemption that awaits all who are in Christ.

Revelation 12:7-9 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 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.

The battle has already been won.

Look at the beginning of verse 8. I love it! There is so much hope in it! “But he was defeated.” No matter what Satan does, he is fighting from defeat, not victory. He is a defeated foe.

It’s like if your ball team is down by 20 with a few minutes to go. You know the game is over. The other team has already won. But the buzzer hasn’t buzzed yet. The timer hasn’t clicked all the way down. So the losing team still plays. And maybe they’re upset about it, like it’s their biggest rivalry. So, they play dirty. They throw elbows and knock other players down. They’ve lost, but they’re going to go down swinging.

Though Satan is defeated, he is still fighting. Look at the beginning of verse 9. After it says he was defeated, it says, “he was thrown down to earth.” And what does he do down on earth. When God asks him at the beginning of Job what he has been doing on earth, he says, “going to and fro on the earth” (Job 1:7). Here’s how the Apostle Peter describes what Satan is doing as he is going to and fro on the earth. “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). How does a lion prowl around ready to attack? They try to do it without you seeing them, then they pounce when you least expect it. Then it’s too late. Satan works the same way. Satan is defeated, but he is still fighting.

We live in the already/not-yet. Jesus has won the battle, but the victory hasn’t been fully realized yet.

Hear how D.A. Carson describes some of how this is played out.

“We already have the forgiveness of our sins, but we do not yet have the consummation which Christ’s death and resurrection have secured. We already grow in sanctification, but we have not yet been glorified. We are squeezed between the already and the not yet; already it is the last hour of this age which is decaying and will pass away. But it has not yet passed away, and the new heavens and the new earth have not yet dawned.”[1]

We live in the already/not-yet. Jesus has already defeated sin and Satan, yet it is not-yet fully realized. Jesus has crushed the head of that ancient serpent, yet he has not cast that beast into the lake of fire that burns forever and ever (Rev 20:10). This can be illustrated in the difference in Dday and Vday. The battle at Normandy essentially ended World War II. Yet the battles were not over after that invasion. People still died after Normandy. It wasn’t until Vday, or victory day, that the battle was officially over. We are living in between Dday and Vday. The battle has been fought. The victory has been decided. But there are still casualties until that victory is finally realized.

Satan knows he is a defeated foe. This makes him all the more dangerous. He will lead many astray in the last days. He promises abundant life just like Jesus does, only his way leads to death. Many follow him, though. If Satan can deceive a third of the angels to leave heaven, he can deceive you into hell. He is enticing and will pull as many people as he can down with him. Have you ever pushed someone into a pool or lake? What do they do as they are falling down? They flail their arms and try to drag anyone around them down with them. Satan is still fighting. The head of that serpent has been stomped on, but he’s still thrashing around on the floor. There is coming a day when he gets what he deserves though. Justice will finally and fully be realized, and there will be no more fight. The victory that has been won on the cross will be finally and fully realized. All bad and sad things will come undone. It is hope in that final victory that allows you to fight and live through the battle you’re in now. The hope of the already fuels our fighting in the not-yet.

Revelation 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[a] has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”

Here we see the already and the not-yet, how it’s played out. Let’s break it down.

The already:

In Christ, your salvation is certain.

Verse 10 says, “Now the salvation…has come.” It doesn’t say it might come. It says it has come. God knew the end of the story at the beginning. We see that in Genesis 3:15. When Jesus died on the cross and rose back to life, salvation came. And for all who believe, whose faith is in Jesus, their salvation is certain.

Your salvation isn’t up to you. You can’t save yourself. If you could, your salvation wouldn’t be certain. I can’t even be certain I can walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without tripping. I can’t be certain that I won’t make a fool of myself at any given moment. I can’t be certain that I can drink water without it chocking me and sending me into a coughing fit. For something as important as eternal salvation, if it was up to me, I would never be certain. But it’s not up to me.

Ephesians 2:8-9For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

By the Holy Spirit, you have power.

Verse 10 also says, “Now…the power…has come.” If you have been saved, you have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead within you (Rom 8:11). Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples (and us as well) that they need to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon them, then they will be his witnesses where they are and around the world (Acts 1:8). This power, it’s the same Greek word (dynamin), where we get our word for dynamite. Satan is seeking to bring people to hell with him, you are empowered to stop him. You can charge hell with a water gun, like it’s filled with holy water! You also have power to overcome any temptation Satan brings your way! James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” You are not weak. If you are in Christ, you have the greatest power dwelling within you. And you can change the world that Satan is ravaging!

The church is bringing about God’s kingdom.

Another aspect of the already that we see in verse 10 is it says, “Now…the kingdom of our God…has come.” Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). The work of the church is to bring about the kingdom of God here on earth. Right now, many people rule and reign themselves, to their own demise. They think they know what is right and good all the way to their own destruction. If there’s a kingdom, there must be a king. We live so much like we are the kings and queens of the world, or at least our lives. That will only bring us dissatisfaction and destruction. The way of the world leads to destruction. It is a wide and easy road, and many people take that path. But the way of Jesus, it’s a narrow way. It’s not as easy. It goes against what the world says, but that is the way to life.

Matthew 7:13-1413 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Make Jesus the king of your life. Let him rule and reign your actions and desires. And as we do that, his kingdom will come in our hearts and this world. And we will have life.

Christ has authority over all.

Finally, we see from this verse, “Now…the authority of Christ has come.” His rule and reign is perfect. Whatever he says is good and true and right. He not only has authority to deems what is good, right, and true, but he has authority over all things in what they are allowed to do…even their existence.

Colossians 1:16-17 – “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Whatever is happening or has happened in your life, find comfort in the fact that it has been allowed by the perfect and completely good Creator of all things and lover of your soul. Even Satan himself can only do what God allows him (Job 1). And that’s where we see the not-yet come about.

The not-yet:

Satan still accuses.

Even though the kingdom and authority of Christ has come, verse 10 shows us what Satan does as he’s been thrown down. He accuses. He accuses day and night before God. He says, “Look at them! They’re so dirty! Haha! Look at what I made them do! You’re not good enough for God! You’re too broken for anything good to ever come from you. Just give up! You’re worthless! You’re sinful. You’re no good. You’re dirty.”

Here’s the deal with accusations. They only matter if they have merit…if there’s actual reason for them. Just because someone is accused doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Here’s the truth:

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John 3:17 – For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Let him hurl accusations at you! Who cares! If you are in Christ, you are redeemed and there’s no condemnation. No matter what you’ve done or how dirty you’ve been, you are given the righteousness of Christ! (2 Cor 5:21) No matter what this world hurls at you, remember who you are in Christ, and remind the world whose you are. That’s how you conquer Satan.

Revelation 12:11 – 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.

Satan still steals, kills, and destroys.

This is part of the not-yet reality. Satan still destroys (John 10:10). He promises the world but takes everything. But here’s the deal, even if he takes everything, your very life, you overcome him because of Jesus. Even if he takes the most valuable thing away from you, your life, you have life everlasting with God.

There’s nothing to fear with Satan if even when he takes what’s most valuable from you, you still win! Nothing is more noble than a soldier going down fighting for the freedom of their country. And we are in a battle. And we’re fighting for the freedom of all who will believe. The victory has been decided, but the war is still being waged. Which side are you fighting for? Don’t fight for this world.

Revelation 12:12 – 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 short!

Our hope is in heaven.

Our only hope for victory is in heaven. As we remind ourselves of heaven, it helps us fight through anything here on earth. So, set your gaze above.

Colossians 3:1-41 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Be alert. Live for heaven, not for the things of this world.

1 Peter 5:8-11Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

[1] D.A. Carson, “Partakers of the Age to Come,” in These Last Days: A Christian View of History (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2011), 90.


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