Satan’s War Against God

Title: Satan's War Against God

Bible Book: Revelation 12 : 1-8

Author: Johnny L. Sanders

Subject: Satan; Tribulation, The Great



Thanksgiving, 2004. Mark the date! On Thanksgiving-eve (2004), Oliver North filled in for Sean Hannity on Hannity and Colmbs. One guest was David Barton of WallBuilders. David Barton has an incredible mind, and just in case you ever wonder if he is reading from a Teleprompter, let me assure you, he is reading from memory. I have heard him in person and he is not even referring to notes. When I turned the program on they were discussing Thanksgiving. Alan Colmbs was repeating the liberal mantra that Thanksgiving is a national holiday, not a religious holiday. I only wish they had given David Barton more time! Every time Alan Colmbs offered an argument David Barton countered with a history lesson, a quote from the constitution, or a court ruling. If you have ever wondered why Alan Colmbs would have Ann Courter on the program, you should have seen him try to debate David Barton.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Rev. Barry Lynn was on Hannity and Colmbs, and the Rev. Barry Lynn champions every cause that will restrict Christianity and make ours a totally secular society. He is concerned that any reference to Thanksgiving or Christmas might offend an atheistic.

While I have been aware of the spiritual warfare between the forces of God and the forces of Satan since I was a youth, I never in my wildest imagination thought I would see the kind of escalation in intensity and methodology we have seen in one year. Satan is on a rampage, striking out at anything and everything God loves. He uses every tool in his arsenal and all the power at his disposal and the primary target is the one creation created in the image of God.

I am keenly aware of the fact that America is no longer a Christian nation. Enemies of the Cross insist that it never was a Christian nation, but they are wrong. Some people deny it through ignorance, others because of iniquity, but deny it they will. Francis Shaeffer declared that America entered the post-Christian period of her history in 1935 (England in 1895). If he was right, we entered the post-Christian era just ten years after the infamous Scopes Trial, also called the Monkey Trial, in 1925. There is a lesson here: if you want to sell people on a variety of sins, sell them on evolution first. All evolutionists do not embrace all the evils of the world, but if you do not have a Creator at the beginning you cannot have a Judge at the end. If God is not your Creator you are not accountable to Him for your behavior. If you want to sell people on abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, or homosexuality, sell them first on evolution.

We entered the post-Christian era of our history in 1935, though it may not have reached the Bible Belt until after the Second World War. The Supreme Court rulings of 1962 and 1963 did not lead us into the post-Christian era, they gave a shocking testimony to the fact that we were moving deeper and deeper into the post-Christian era. We have seen America “evolve” from a monotheistic world-view to atheistic evolutionary Humanism, to a polytheistic evolutionary world-view. At first they called it New Age, now it is Postmodernism, which appeals both to the religious and the secularist.

Former Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court waged an intense battle against the ACLU for the right to display the Ten Commandments in the foyer of their court building. Sadly, many Christians opposed him, and the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear him, even though they have an open display of those same Ten Commandments in their own court building.

We watched a year-long attack on president Bush by those who hate him, not only because of political differences, but also because of his faith in Jesus Christ. Make no mistake about it, if he was merely “spiritual” they could live with that, but he has the audacity to talk about Jesus Christ, the Bible, prayer, and faith - and that in places built by tax payers’ money! How much more evil can he get!?

The ACLU, true to its Marxist roots, is making an all out effort to drive Christianity out of the public arena - they say they are not opposed to religion as long as you confine it to the church or the home. It is interesting, however, that they are not concerned about the spread of the most violent, oppressive, and dangerous religion in the history of the world

The ACLU is actively trying to force the removal of any reference to God from public property, delete “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and “in God we trust” from our coins. They go to court to deny towns the right to display a nativity scene - even in places where they allow non-Christian religious displays. They have threatened to sue the military if they support the Boy Scouts - and the military has given in to their threats. What is the ACLU’s problem with the Boy Scouts? They profess to believe in a higher power.

Satan is on a rampage, but he is far more subtle than many people understand. We see the might and power of Satan in terrorist attacks, in the use of Islamic mosques as military bases and storage warehouses for all sorts of weapons. The ACLU and Americans for the Separation of Church and State provide their lofty and compassionate argument for the removal of everything that speaks of God from the public arena.

What has all that to do with Revelation 12? Well, in this chapter, we are going to see Satan on a rampage against God and all God loves. However, to keep the Book in perspective, let us very briefly review what we have already seen in Revelation:

In Chapter 1, we see that the Son of God is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, beginning and the end.

In Chapters 2-3, we have the letters to the 7 churches of Asia Minor.

In Chapter 4, we are introduced to the throne room of Heaven.

In Chapter 5, The One on the throne has a scroll with seven seals in His hand, a seal no one could open until the Lamb of God, Jesus, undertook the task of breaking the seals and opening the scroll.

In Chapter 6, the first six seals are broken, each with its own dramatic revelation.

In Chapter 7, God’s judgment is held back until a mighty angel with the seal of the Lord seals those who are redeemed.

In Chapter 8, the seventh seal is broken, followed by 7 trumpet judgments.

In Chapter 9, the angel from bottomless pit unleashes plagues against those who are not saved.

In Chapter 10, John is told to take the little book, and eat it: it would be sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the stomach.

In Chapter 11, verses 1-10, we see the Two Witnesses God sends to proclaim His message with awesome power, and supernatural results. In 11:1, God told John to take a reed and measure the sanctuary, excluding the court of the Gentiles. He stressed that Gentiles will trample under foot the streets of that great city for forty-two months, three and one half years.

In Chapter 12, we see Satan’s vicious attack on Israel, and God’s protection of His Chosen People.
as we look at Revelation, Chapter 12, it will help to remember the context:

“The seventh trumpet (Rev 11:15) ushers in the bowl judgments (Rev 15:1- Rev 16:21), but in the intervening chapters (Rev 12 — 14), John sees the conflict between God and Satan. He sees the source of all sin, evil, persecution, and suffering on the earth, and he understands why the great battle between the forces of God and Satan must soon take place. In these chapters the nature of evil is exposed, and Satan is seen in all his wickedness. [Life Application Bible Notes, Bible Navigator].


“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. His 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 he might devour her child. But she gave birth to a Son—a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter —and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days.”

1) A great sign appeared in heaven, 12:1a.

There are many signs in the Bible, so we should not be surprised to see a sign in Revelation. In the Gospel According to John the miracles are called signs, because the Lord seeks to call our attention to something beyond the miraculous event. Jesus fed the five thousand men plus women and children, not simply to prove He could do it, but to teach them that He is the Bread of Life. The sign in this verse calls attention to something significant. This if the first of seven signs in the last half of Revelation.

2) The sign was a woman, 12:1b.

This is not an actual historical woman, but a symbol representation of Israel, portrayed in the Old Testament as the bride of Yahweh (Is. 54:5, 6; Jer. 3:6-8). We find three other symbolic women in Revelation. First, there is Jezebel (2:20) who represents paganism with its immorality. Second, there is the scarlet woman (17:3-6) who represents the apostate church. Third, there is the bride of the Lamb (19:7) who symbolizes the true church. This woman is a symbolic woman, but she does not represent the church, as the description clearly shows.

3) The woman is described, 12:1c.

“The woman was clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of 12 stars on her head.”

a. Being clothed in the sun implies glory, dignity, and honor. This suggests the exalted status of Israel as the Chosen People.

b. Having the moon under her feet may denote God’s covenant relationship with Israel.

c. The twelve stars seem to represent the twelve tribes of Israel.

4) The woman “was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony to give birth,” 12:2.

Israel would give birth to the promised Child. Israel is often pictured as a mother about to give birth to a child who would come and deliver Israel from Satan, from sin and death, and usher in the kingdom of righteousness (Is. 26:17-18; 54:1; 66:7-12).

5) Another sign appeared in heaven, 12:3-4.

“Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. His 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 he might devour her child.”

There was “a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.” Ancients feared fiery dragons. The Babylonians told stories of a seven-headed hydra. In this type of literature, the number seven is the number of perfection or completion, but in reference to Satan, it would seem that number stands for an awesome force that seems irresistible for a time. The number ten is the number of human completion, but here it may refer to satanic dominion over the world for a period of time. There is, however, another interpretation. Some see the numbers as representing seven past kingdoms and ten future kingdoms (Dan. 7:7, 20, 24).

Descriptions of dragons in biblical times bear a strong resemblance to what we know of dinosaurs, those “terrible lizards” who received their names long after the biblical period was ancient history. The dragon stands for Satan, and while a history of dragons and dinosaurs may be interesting, for our purpose, we are simply going to think of the fiery dragon as Satan. Satan appears as a dragon thirteen times in Revelation.

What we do know is that Satan has reigned over the world and will reign until the seventh trumpet sounds. His attacks on Israel have been as ruthless as they have been relentless. He sought to prevent Israel from bringing forth the Promised Child, and then when He was born he sought to have him killed. Herod the Great was Satan’s agent in the horrible, bloody plot to kill the Son of God by killing all the male babies under two years of age in Bethlehem. God, however, was already a step ahead of Him. Jesus was on the way to Egypt.

Next, we are told, “His tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth.” In Isaiah 14:12ff, we read about Satan’s initial rebellion, at which time he was defeated and cast out of heaven with one third of the angels who participating in the insurrection. They were cast out of heaven and became demons. There may be many things in Revelation that you may not understand, but this is something no one should miss: demons are real, they are evil, and they are not to be taken lightly. Jesus encountered demons everywhere He went, and so do you. He recognized them and they recognized Him. They also recognize Christ in the hearts of believers. We do not fully understand the operation of demons, but we can know that they are alive and active, and that whatever they do is designed to oppose God and destroy human beings.

Next, we read, “And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth he might devour her child.” From the time of the Fall (Genesis 3), Satan knew he would have to face Jesus again. He has been kicked out of heaven by the Son of God and he would face him again, unless he could do something to thwart God’s purpose and prevent Him from fulfilling His promise. Incidentally, Jesus and Satan were not brothers in eternity past, as the Mormons claim. Satan was a powerful created being who rebelled against God and paid the price. He is waging a war against God today and he will pay a price for that.

6) The woman gave birth to a son, 12:5.

In spite of all Satan could do, the woman“gave birth to a Son—a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter.” In the fulness of time God sent forth His only begotten Son, born of a virgin of Israel, born a king, born to become the Savior.

7) God delivered both the Child and the Woman.

God delivered His Son through the Ascension - “and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.” He will protect Israel - “The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days.” This denotes the second half of the Great Tribulation.


1) Satan and his angels rebelled against the Lord and were cast out of heaven, 12:7-9.

War in heaven? Right! Here we are given the simple narrative of the rebellion of Satan against God in heaven. He led one-third of the angels in a warfare in which he sought to take the throne of God for himself. Michael and his angels defeated Satan and his forces and threw them out of heaven. Let us read the passage:

“Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out—the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him.”

In this series of messages from the Revelation I have often stated very frankly that I cannot answer all your questions about Revelation. I am convinced, however, that when the Lord promised us a blessing if we read this book, He meant it and we should take it seriously. What, then, is the blessing for us in this chapter? We know that Satan rebelled against God and tried to take over His throne. You can be sure he gave it his best shot, but he failed - totally and decisively. We know he was cast out of heaven and that his domain today is the world. He has been so successful in his warfare against God in this realm that he is called the prince of this world. He is real and he is powerful, but he has never been a match for God and he never will be. He received the promised death-blow at Calvary, and though he writhes like a mortally wounded cottonmouth moccasin, striking in all directions in an effort to inject his deadly venom, his fate is sealed. His defeat has been written down as an accomplished fact. The very language in the original implies a decisive, once-for-all victory over Satan.

Let me add here that in this section we are not looking to some future event, but to something that has already taken place. Satan’s defeat and expulsion from heaven is an accomplished fact, a fact accomplished at some time before the encounter with Eve in Genesis Three.

2) There is rejoicing in heaven over the defeat of Satan, 12:10-12.

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown out: the one who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, for the Devil has come down to you with great fury, because he knows he has a short time.”

a. In Revelation “a loud voice” tells us that there was no missing the message.

It was loud and clear. The emphasis here is not on the volume but upon the reception and comprehension of the message. Who has not gone into a restaurant, anticipating not only a good meal, but also a pleasant visit with family or friends, only to have all conversation drowned out by the music in the establishment. Frankly, I enjoy the lyrics when I listen to music, but I also love quiet background music. Did I just date myself?

b. The salvation of our Lord has come.

“The power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come.” That which our Lord has promises He fulfills. His salvation had come - John heard this in a loud and clear voice.

c. The accuser of the children of God has been cast out of heaven.

There are many names for Satan given in the Bible, but this one may be overlooked. He is the accuser. Satan can, and will use lost people to accuse Christians of horrible things, and he will lead them to give everything we do the worst possible interpretation. We are seeing this right now in America. In the most recent election, President George W. Bush defeated Senator John Kerry in his bid for re-election for a second term as out president. Studies show that moral issues were significant, and the those most concerned about those moral issues were conservative Christians. What have the liberals done? Have they turned to Jesus Christ? Of course not. They are now trying to deny the facts. They are trying to redefine moral issues - abortion is not a moral issues, the environment is. Forget homosexuality, just look at the poverty all around us. Tony Campolo, a sociologist who heads up some group that unfortunately uses the word evangelical in its name, has once again demonstrated his liberal theology in a scathing attack on America. He claims that America has the worst record of any of the twenty-two industrialized nations when it comes to helping the poor. He never mentions the taxes you and I pay. He never mentions how much money Americans have spent liberating and protection some of ths other twenty one nations. And he never mentions the blood shed by Americans to protect some of those countries.

Satan does not stop there. He uses some believers to accuse others. Following his election as president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, Philip Robertson was surprised to learn that there is an evil plot afloat - and he is a part of it! He and Jerry Falwell had a plan by which they will take over Louisiana College. Philip was shocked to hear this. He said, “I graduated from Liberty University but believe me, Jerry Falwell and I are not on first name terms.” During the years I served on the executive board I was accused of things that had never occurred to me. As a pastor, I have been accused of doing things for motives that would never have occurred to me - often by people I had spent an incredible amount of time visiting, often involving out of town trips.

There is more. Satan accuses Christians daily. Have you ever doubted your salvation? Who is better served when you are doubting your faith, Jesus of Satan? You know the answer. Believe me, when you are doubting your salvation, Satan has you on hold. You are not praying, witnessing, or growing during those times. Have you ever wondered about your faith when you prayed for something and did not see an answer in what you thought was a reasonable amount of time? God may be trying to tell you something, but Satan may be trying to neutralize your testimony and rob you of the joy of your salvation. He is also trying to deprive you of blessings God wants you to enjoy. Someone has said, “Ask in faith and you will receive; ask in doubt and do without.”

d. We overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb.

“They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, for the Devil has come down to you with great fury, because he knows he has a short time.”

How do we defeat Satan. By the blood of the Lamb. What does this say for those who do not want the Blood mentioned in their church?!!! “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood!” How do we overcome Satan? Through the Word of God and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit. Watch out, however, because Satan knows his time is running out and he will do all he can to hurt you and to try to hinder the Lord until the bitter end. Have you ever wondered what was going on in the heart of a person who kills his family, co-workers, or class-mates before turning the gun on himself? He could have saved a lot of people a lot of grief if he had started with himself! He is never more like Satan than when he seeks to destroy all around him before his time runs out.


1) Satan persecutes the woman (Israel), 12:13.

“When the dragon saw that he had been thrown to earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male.”

When Satan was defeated and thrown out of heaven he turned his attention to the world that God created. There is an old book written by Eric Saur, and translated from German into English in which the author stated his belief that when Satan was kicked out of heaven he turned his wrath against God’s physical creation before the creation of man. He believed this explains the many scars and blemishes astrophysicists have seen as they view various planets and other heavenly bodies in space. I might concede some of what Saur had to say unless he is trying to make a case for an old earth (billions of years) rather than a young earth (thousands of years).

Here the emphasis is upon the devil’s persecution of Israel. The language demands hot, relentless pursuit of an enemy. That is exactly the kind of hostile, relentless persecution to which the history of Israel bears witness. A long-time Jewish friend spoke frankly with me about anti-Semitism a number of years ago. He said, “It’s a wonder that there is a Jew left alive.” He was right, except for one point. There were times that what many call persecution was called judgment by the Lord - as in the case of Assyria and Babylon. God judged His people to purge them of rebellion and idolatry so He could use them. He is protecting them today, earnestly desiring a relationship with them.

2) The woman (Israel) is protected, 12:14.

“The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent’s presence to her place in the wilderness, where she was fed for a time, times, and half a time.”

The woman, meaning Israel, was given two wings of a great eagle so that she could fly away from the serpent, Satan, to a place of safety prepared by the Lord for her protection during the second half of the Great Tribulation. The eagle was used in the Old Testament of God’s protection for Israel: “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself” (Ex 19:4-5 (NASB).

Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NASB)

3) Satan will continue to rage against Israel, 1215.

“From his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away in a torrent.”

Do you doubt this? If so, where have you been over the past few years? Satan’s most satanic religion is waging a war for the absolute destruction of Israel. Islamic clerics and other leaders are continually fanning the flames of hatred for Israel, demanding that the Jews be driven into the sea. Do you understand that they want the death of every single Jew in the world? If it is this bad now, can you imagine what it is going to be like during the Great Tribulation?

4) God defends Israel against further attacks by Satan, 12:16.

“But the earth helped the woman: the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth.”

Some see this as God’s protection of His church against attacks by the many barbarous nations that made up the Roman empire. Others see it as a promise that God will protect Israel during the intense warfare Satan will wage against Israel during the second half of the Great Tribulation. The context seems to demand the latter, but my purpose is not to argue that point. We are looking for the promised blessings - blessings promised us today. In part - and a very significant part it is - we have the assurance that God has never lost control - and Satan has never been in control. Whatever weapons Satan uses against God’s faithful people, God will protect them and provide for them. He did not say it would be easy, and He did not promise exemption from persecution. What He promises is that He will protect His faithful followers and grant them the ultimate victory.

5) Satan will wage war against all who believe in Jesus, 12:17-18.

“So the dragon was furious with the woman and left to wage war against the rest of her offspring —those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony about Jesus. He stood on the sand of the sea.”

When God protects Israel, Satan will turn his rage against every true believer in Jesus Christ - all “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony about Jesus.” The “testimony about Jesus” is the truth contained in the Word of God, the Scripture. Obedience to the Word of God marks one as a believer in Jesus Christ.


We do not have to wait for the Great Tribulation to see Satan attack Israel. We do not have to wait for the Tribulation to see Satan turn his attention to true believers in Jesus today. Islam is determined to destroy Israel - call it militant Islam, or radical Islam if you will - but far too many who Muslims who claim to be peaceful Muslims refuse to condemn the most vicious, brutal attacks by the terrorists (even when they kill other Muslims). If the terrorists could take over America, those peaceful Muslims would be right at home with them - unless they got caught up in a factional dispute, as in the case of the Sunis and the Sheites. They have been killing each other for ages.

Satan must have thought he had destroyed any hope of a national Israel - and then they began moving to Palestine following World War II. The friends of Satan sought to destroy Israel in 1963 and suffered a humiliating defeat. They still want to destroy Israel - and all who support Israel. That means America. Why else do you think they attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? We are at war today, and it is a different kind of war than any America has ever fought. We are engaged in a spiritual war against the forces of Satan.

What are we doing to win that war? Americans, with the help of many church groups, are taking God out of the public arena, removing His name from history books, denying our heritage, turning against the Boy Scouts, editing the Pledge of Allegiance, and secularizing all Christian holidays.

God directed Jeremiah to write, “Has a nation forsaken its God? Yet, you have forsaken me, the fountains of living water, and hewn for yourselves cisterns, broken cistern that can hold no water.”
Is that what America has done? I am afraid many are guilty, and many others compromise daily without giving it a thought. Satan must really be proud of a lot of church members today. Pray that you are not one of them. Repent and follow Him as directed by the Word of God and led by the Holy Spirit. He will bless you. He will give you the victory.

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