on the earth – Revelation 12:13-18
v13 The *dragon realised that God had thrown him down to the earth. So, he began to pursue the woman who had given birth to the boy. v14 The woman received two wings like a large *eagle. Now she could fly to her place in the desert. She will receive there whatever she needs for three and a half years. And the *dragon will not be able to hurt her. v15 Then the *dragon poured water like a river out of his mouth. The *dragon wanted to carry the woman away in the flood. v16 But the earth helped the woman. The earth was like an animal that opened its mouth. So, the earth swallowed the river that the *dragon poured out of his mouth. v17 Then the *dragon was angry with the woman. So, the *dragon went away to fight her other children. They are the people who obey God. They are loyal witnesses of Jesus. v18 And the *dragon stood on the sand by the sea.
Verse 13 The *dragon could not kill the child. God threw the *dragon (*Satan) out of heaven. So, the *dragon turned his attention to the woman. He tried to kill her.
The woman means the true *Jews. They are the *Jews who trust in God. *Satan will oppose them. But God will protect them.
Verse 14 God gave to the woman a pair of wings. They were like the wings of a great *eagle. The *eagle is a very powerful bird. With these wings, the woman escaped from the *dragon.
The *Lord had prepared a place for the woman. It was in the desert. She flew there and she was safe. The *Lord protected her for three and a half years. The *dragon had just three and a half years before Christ would arrest him. The woman was safe for the whole of that period.
This means that the *Lord protects his own people. So, the *Lord will protect until the end the *Jews who trust in him.
The *dragon tried to reach the woman. But he was not able to hurt her.
Verses 15-16 As the woman flew to the desert, the *dragon opened his mouth. He sent a great flood of water after her. If the water had reached her, she would have drowned. But the earth opened up and it swallowed the water. So, the water could not reach the woman. She was safe from the flood.
The devil will pour out all his evil deeds against the *Jews. He will do all that he can to kill all of them. But God will not allow him to succeed. God has promised to rescue his people (called *Israel) in the last days. And God will do the things that he promised to do. God will save *Israel.
Verse 17 The *dragon was angry because he could not reach the woman. So, he went to fight her other children.
Christ came from the *Jews. He, the Son of God, was by birth a *Jew. Those who believed in him did not become *Jews. The children of the woman were both *Jews and those who were not *Jews.
The *dragon could not hurt the *Jews. So, he attacked God’s people who were not *Jews.
God’s people will suffer terrible problems for those three and a half years. Those who believe in Jesus will suffer much. Many of them will die because they believe in Jesus. It will be a terrible time.
Verse 18 The *dragon stood by the sea. He would call up another *beast from the sea. On behalf of the *dragon, this new *beast would lead the fight against God’s people.
The *beast from the sea – Revelation 13:1-10
v1 I saw a *beast. It came up from the sea. It had 10 *horns and 7 heads. There was a crown on each of its 10 *horns. And there were names on its heads. These names were an insult to God. v2 And the *beast that I saw was like a *leopard. Its feet were like those of a bear. And its mouth was like the mouth of a lion. The *dragon gave his own power to the *beast. And the *dragon gave great authority to the *beast so that the *beast would rule as king. v3 On one of the heads of the *beast there were marks of an injury. That injury should have killed the *beast, but the injury had healed. This astonished all the people of the earth and they followed the *beast. v4 They all *worshipped the *dragon because he gave his authority to the *beast. They also *worshipped the *beast. They said, ‘Nobody is as strong as the *beast. Nobody can fight against it and defeat it.’
v5 The *beast received the right to speak great things and to insult God. It had authority to act for 42 months. v6 The *beast began to insult God and to curse his name. It cursed the place where God lives. It cursed everyone who lives in heaven with God. v7 It had power to fight against God’s people and to overcome them. It ruled over all *tribes, peoples, languages and nations. v8 All the people who live on earth will *worship the *beast. But those whose names God has written in the book of life will not *worship the *beast. God wrote their names in the book before he created the world. That book belongs to the *Lamb whom people killed.
v9 If you have an ear, listen!
v10 Whoever must go to prison, will really go to prison. Whoever must die by the sword, will really die by the sword. So, God’s people must be strong with patience and *faith.
Verse 1 John saw a *beast rise out of the sea. In the ancient world, people often thought of the sea as a place where evil things belonged. So, this awful *beast came from the place of evil things.
People also used the sea as a description for the mass of the peoples. This *beast rises from among people to become greater than them. This *beast is actually an evil man.
The *beast had 10 *horns and 7 heads. The 10 *horns are like those of the fourth (4th) *beast in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 7:7). There the 10 *horns mean 10 kings. The 10 kings rise out of the fourth (4th) *kingdom. The 7 heads also mean 7 kings (Revelation 17:10). (This means that the *beast was such a great ruler that he controlled many other kings.) Each *horn has a crown. Each head has a name that insults God.
This *beast was an agent of the *dragon (*Satan) to fight against God’s people.
This *beast was the head of the fourth (4th) *kingdom in Daniel. That *kingdom is the last great *kingdom on earth before Christ comes to rule.
Verse 2 Daniel saw four (4) *beasts (Daniel chapter 7). The first one was like a lion with wings. The second one was like a bear with three bones in its mouth. The third one was like a *leopard but it had 4 heads and 4 wings. The fourth (4th) *beast was terrible and strong. It had iron teeth and many *horns. Each of these *beasts meant a *kingdom that would fight against God’s people.
The *beast that John saw was the ruler of that fourth *kingdom. This *kingdom had all that was bad in the other three. It fought against God’s people and it killed many of them.
The *beast set himself up as the ruler of the world. He opposed Christ and God’s people. He was against God. He was *Satan’s answer to Christ. He was the man of *sin and he was called the *Antichrist (1 John 2:18).
The *dragon (*Satan) gave his own power to this *beast. The *beast was a man whom *Satan possessed.
Verse 3 One of the *beast’s 7 heads had an injury. But the *beast did not die because of it. He lived and he became famous. The whole world went after the *beast. He became the most powerful man on earth.
The heads seem to mean kings that the *beast controls. The injury should have caused the *beast to die. But the *beast had Satan’s power. And the *beast’s power astonished everyone. This was why the people followed him.
Verse 4 To the people of the earth, the *beast was like a god. He was so strong. Nobody could fight against him. They *worshipped him. They recognised that the power of the *beast came from the *dragon. So, they *worshipped the *dragon (*Satan) instead of God.
Verse 5 The *beast spoke great things. And he insulted God. The *beast did this with the authority of *Satan. God allowed him to do this but only for 42 months. This is the same three and a half years as in previous verses (11:2-3; 12:6). At the end of that time, the *Lord Jesus will come. Jesus will bind *Satan and the *beast.
God allowed the *beast to rule. The *beast could only do what God permitted. God set the boundaries of his rule.
Verse 6 The *apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. ‘This man will oppose God. In fact, this man will oppose everything that people call God. This man will oppose all that they *worship. He will say that he is more powerful than any god. He will even sit in the *temple of God. He will say that he is God.’ (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
The *beast insulted God and all who belong to God. The name of God means all that God is.
Verse 7 The *beast fought against God’s people. He killed many of them. He seemed to achieve what he aimed to do. He defeated God’s people on the earth. But they will go into heaven to be with the *Lord.
He had power over all the earth. The people of the earth accepted him as the leader of the world. But his power came from the *dragon. And God allowed him to use that power for just a short time.
Verse 8 The people of the whole world joined in *worship of the *beast. But those who trusted in God did not *worship the *beast. God has written their names in the book of life.
The idea of the book of life is that God keeps a record of his people. God has a register of the names of those who trust him. God sees the end of things before they start. Therefore, he knew who would trust him. He recorded their names before he made the world.
The book of life belongs to the *Lamb (Jesus). It is because of his death that *eternal life is possible. We can have *eternal life only because of the *Lord Jesus.
Verse 9 It was important that God’s people should listen. They would hear what would come. Then what the *beast would do would not surprise them.
Verse 10 During those three and a half years, God’s people will suffer. Many of them will go to prison. The people of the *Antichrist will kill many more of them. It is certain that this will happen. Although this is so, God’s people must be strong. They must continue to trust in God. They must suffer with patience. God knows what will happen. When those days have ended, he will save all his people.