It is once again Easter time; and I see this time as the most important time of all history – but for us to fully appreciate the importance of Easter, we ought to look back into history as well as forward into things yet to come. In this teaching, we will look at the birth of Jesus and the timeline in history which led to the birth of Jesus, together with biblical truths on God’s plan from the beginning. Most of all these events are traced back to the Book of Revelations, therefore we will start in Revelations and refer back to Revelations throughout this teaching. I also believe that at the end of this teaching, you will have a much better understanding on the book of Revelations as a whole.
This teaching is available in PDF: Easter 2019 Message
Apostle John starts in Revelations 12:1-4 by telling us about his vision of satan’s hate towards the birth of Jesus Christ. The message of Revelations is not entirely composed of things to come, but also things which has taken place; and things which were happening and about to happen in his time. It will be important for you to turn in your own Bible to the scripture references given within this teaching. First, John gives an account of the signs he saw concerning the birth of Jesus by mentioning 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 as she was about to give birth. Then, a red dragon swept a third of the stars from the sky and threw them to the earth. This dragon with seven heads and ten horns stands in front of the pregnant woman about to give birth so that he may devour the child.
So the question is: Who is this woman and child? The woman John saw was Marry, Jesus’ earthly mother; and the child was Jesus the Messiah. The woman in Revelations however does not only represent Marry, but is also symbolic to the entire community of God’s people throughout history. The twelve stars on her crown represent the 12 tribes of Israel; and also refer to the church formed by the 12 Apostles. Revelations 12:17 also refer to other godly off springs, those who obeyed God’s command and holds testimony of Jesus. The woman is symbolic to the chosen community of God, the church throughout history; and through Israel who gave spiritual birth to Jesus – and Revelations 12 and verse 9 then obviously speaks about the fallen satan. With that been put into perspective for you, let’s take a look at the description of satan in Revelations which describes him as a fearsome and furious dragon. He has seven heads, shrewd and cunning, he is tricky and deceitful, he has ten horns representing power, and seven crowns representing authority.
Throughout history, God’s people waited for the birth of their Messiah and Savior; and at the same time satan was working hard to avoid this from happening. Satan fears the promised child and tries everything in his power to destroy every possibility of this child to be born. Revelation 12 also gives us a behind the scene look at what happened throughout the Old Testament; and many fail to see this, because they don’t dig back into what already took placed; but let us take the time out to dig back and have better understanding. Tracing it back to Genesis 3 verse 15, just after the fall of man; God cursed the serpent [the form satan took on the deceive man] by saying – “…I will put enmity between thee [serpent/satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thy shall bruise his heel” [v.15].
This sets in motion a drama which largely paints the picture of the Old Testament of satan desperately wanting to destroy the entire line which will eventually usher in the birth of Jesus Christ. From the beginning, this set off Cain to kill his brother Abel, but satan failed as Eve then gave birth to another God-fearing son named Seth; and Seth had a son named Enosh [Gen.4:26]. Of course satan still found ways to corrupt and make evil of mankind, which brought about the great flood; where Noah found favor with God [Gen.6:8]. Thereafter God dealt in special ways with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [who was also called Israel]; and made it clear that the promised child will be birth out of Israel and its royal lines. I am simply giving you an outline of historical events, however, to understand these things more in detail, you will have to study the Old Testament more in detail for yourself; however, this outline will give you a good understanding as it further unrolls in how satan tried to stop the birth of Jesus. The next big step in satan’s plan to stop the birth of Jesus happens in Egypt when he placed it in Pharaoh’s heart to have all the babies birth among the Israelites to be murdered; but the midwives was moved by God to disobey Pharaoh and to save the babies [Exo.1:16]. Moses was born, foreshadowing the purpose of the coming Savior of God’s people; and led Israel out of Egypt to a long journey to the promised land.
As history unfolds, God’s promise came to David, that the promise child will be of his offspring. Centuries later, the crown prince of Israel married Athaliah, the daughter of the evil parents Ahab and Jezebel who were demons serving and were wicked. However, Athaliah turned out to be even more evil than both her parents put together. She ends up marrying into David’s royal line, but some time later her husband died and her son became king. Then her son also died and she seized the opportunity to make herself queen in order to destroy Israel and wiping out David’s royal line. She was about to succeed in her plan, planning to murder her own grandchildren, when a godly priest and his wife hid these children. One of them, named Joash became king and Athaliah was killed [2 Kings 11].
If all this was not enough, satan planned to strike at David’s line later again through another wicked person and enemy of Israel, named Hamaan. God had a plan in place and her name was Esther. Esther was married to the king and she exposed Hamaan’s plot to destroy her own people, which led to Hamaan’s execution and satan failed once more [Esth.3-8]. Seen throughout history how satan tried, but failed every time just made him more determined and more furious than ever. The promised child was born; and satan placed it in King Herod’s heart to order the slaughter of all baby boys. An angel of God warned Marry and Joseph; and they fled with Jesus. Satan knew that they got away and patiently waited to get Jesus alone, but he again made a mistake. After Jesus was baptized and received the Holy Spirit in bodily form, Jesus went into the wilderness where satan tempted Jesus for 40 days and 40 nights. Now in bodily form, Jesus was at His weakest as He was fasting for 40 days and 40 nights; but satan failed even against the weakest moments of Jesus. Still later, realizing his mistakes, satan desperately prompted crowds many times to seize Jesus and kill Him, but every time satan’s plan failed.
Jesus now was anointed and filled with power, going about healing people and doing good [Acts 10:38]; and even the demons cried out and fled every time Jesus came near, but still satan did not give up. Satan tried to manipulate Peter to convince Jesus not to go through on the hard road of the obedient sacrifice of all people, but Jesus rebuked satan by saying to Peter: ‘Get behind me, satan!’ Then satan tempted Judas to betray Jesus. At this point of Judas betraying Jesus is where the prophecy of Genesis 3 was fulfilled: the serpent struck the heel of the child and soon following, satan’s head was crushed.
This brings us to the importance of Easter as we know it. Jesus paid the price of sin on the cross, overwhelmed the power of death, arose from the grave, ascended into Heaven, and sealed satan’s doom. Summarized in Revelations 12 and verse 5, not only was there victory on earth over satan, but Revelation 12:7-9 says “there was a war in Heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Jesus defeated satan; and the good angels were able to defeat all the fallen angels.
Jesus proved that even His weakness was stronger than satan’s power. It was in His greatest weakness, squirming as a baby in a manger, hungry and weary in the wilderness, hanging as a convicted criminal on a cross, shamed in the grave; it was in His greatest weakness that Jesus shamed and stripped the dragon in hades from power and arose that we may share in His triumph.
After all satan’s endless attempts, salvation still came! Yes, satan is doomed, but not yet gone. We see this in our very own history today, but the day is coming soon when not only death will be destroyed [1Cort.15:26], but even satan himself; and in the interim we are set assured that by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony we too overcome satan. Looking at what’s happening around us today, with evil not only lurking around every corner, but shown in plane sight, we must come to the realization that all the evil which are surrounding us today is merely a distraction, disguising satan’s operations in our midst, still trying to deceive us by false teachers, by those in our midst, the wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. I read this quote of an author whose name I can’t remember; but he wrote: ‘In the midst of the awful is the absurd – Man caused Good Friday; then, God responded with Easter.’
I want to leave you with this today: Wrong is wrong, even when everyone is doing it; and right is right, even when everyone is not doing it. Let us hold fast to Jesus and stand in the assurance of a glorious end as it is revealed to us in God’s Word. Have a blessed Easter – Amen!
Acknowledgement note: Abstracts made from Prof. David Feddes teaching: ‘The Dragon Slayer’
This is also a time were we break bread and partake in the cup of the Lord – God bless you as you join us in this