Revelation 12-13 paints a very sobering and yet hopeful message of the Christian life. Sobering because it tells us that we are still at war and fighting a battle. But hopeful because it tells us that the decisive battle has been won by God through the life and ascension of Jesus and that it is only a matter of time before ultimate victory will be declared and enjoyed.
God has already won and it was never in doubt. The fight has never been a fair fight between God and Satan or the forces of good and evil. No! God is supreme and sovereign and as such even Satan is under the rule of God. Satan never even had a chance. But this doesn’t mean that Satan doesn’t give it his best shot. Indeed, as Satan realises he has lost he becomes even more desperate trying to destroy whatever that is left. Like a sore loser who throws a tantrum, Satan having been defeated and cast out of heaven seeks to wreak havoc on earth. Satan then enlists the help of 2 Beasts to snatch away the victory won by God – an unholy trinity of sorts.
Satan (the Red Dragon) having lost his place in heaven now seeks to have God’s people (the offspring of the Woman) lose their place in heaven as well. For Satan there is much more at stake here than just whether God’s people physically live or die. It’s a matter of eternal life or eternal death! That is to say: it is ultimately a matter of worship! And John is shown Satan’s strategy. In Revelation 13 this will take place in 2 ways. Non-God (Satanic) Worship will be through the 1st Beast of Power or through the 2nd Beast of Deception. God’s people will be threatened with their lives by the power of the 1st beast or deceived to compromise based on compelling false truths – did God really say that? On all fronts, Satan will challenge you to renounce God, renounce eternal life and ultimately renounce the victory that has already been won.
But my dear brothers and sisters, do not be shaken! Do not be overcome by the enemy but be victorious through patient endurance and faithfulness. Revelation 12:11 says that Christians triumph over Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. So, you too may triumph over Satan by trusting in the once for all, sacrificial death of Jesus! It is finished!