Revelation 12, the centerpiece of the book, uncovers a central issue for Planet Earth—redemption from deception.
Deception began in heaven, not earth, with the dragon who hoodwinked the third part of the angels from heaven with his tail or “lies” (Revelation 12:4; Isaiah 9:15). Deception number two is the old story of the Fall found in the symbolic words “woman” and “serpent,” which take us back to Eden when the first woman, Eve, was deceived by the serpent and with Adam they lost their place in paradise (verses 1, 9). Revelation 12 also describes the symbolic imagery of the “woman” giving birth to the “man child” Messiah. This woman represents the Jewish church to which Jesus was born. The Jewish church leaders become the next victims of Satan’s deception by rejecting Messiah, thus losing her place as God’s favored people and giving way to the Christian wilderness church (verses 1, 5, 6). And finally the entire earth, like the fallen angels, like the first woman Eve, like the Jewish “woman” Israel, will be deceived into rejecting the full and free reality of salvation through the blood of the Lamb (verses 9, 11).
What is the good news in all of this deception outlined so prophetically and succinctly in the twelfth chapter of Revelation? Simply this:
“So the great dragon was cast out…” (Revelation 12:9).
The thought is not only appealingly good news, but it actually forms the very center point of the book with an equal number of words before and behind it (at least in the English KJV, and some have suggested also in the Greek). The point being that central to the issue of deception is the plan of redemption. We might add, not just central but taking hold of and conquering deception, for just as soon as Satan is cast out of heaven to this earth the “Man Child” pursues him here, conquers him at Calvary, and then casts him down permanently:
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down’” (Revelation 12:10).
Alleluia! You are now invited to join the loud voice. Let its cry in heaven echo in earth. Let your heart feel its liberating pulse and stir your entire being to burst forth in strong proclaim! The accuser is cast down. The devouring lion has been conquered by the suffering Lamb! Amen.
James has spent more than 30 years preaching the gospel around the world in revival seminars and evangelistic meetings. He and his wife Risë have two adult children, Jeiel and Kierra.