Revelation 12:13-17 / War on Earth

Posted on November 1, 2015


This is the thirty-third in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of November 1, 2015. This message looks at Satan’s war on Israel, and God’s protection and provision for His people. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.


Rev. 12:13-17


This 2nd half of the tribulation will be especially terrible, Satan will be on a rampage. This is a continuation of the previous passage, and begins a more detailed description of the persecution of Israel.

Satan, at this time will be full force against Israel. He will longer able to attack the male child (Jesus) who is in heaven or be able to accuse the saints because of the victory of Jesus on the cross. So now the devil now pursues the woman (Israel), who flees into the desert. This conflict harkens all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

  • Genesis 3:15

The reference to eagle’s wings introduces imagery from the Old Testament.

  • Exodus 19:4
  • Isaiah 40:31

God will personally protect and provide for Israel, she has nothing to fear. Israel will not only be physically protected, she will be nourished. Here, Israel will be nourished and protected, just as they were during their 40 years in the desert.

  • Exodus 16:35

We can rest assured that God will provide for all of our needs.

It is a matter of some debate as to whether this is a literal flood, or a flood of armies attacking Israel. Flood imagery is certainly used by Jeremiah to depict armies.

  • Jeremiah 46:8
  • Jeremiah 47:2

And certainly, the world’s armies will rise against Israel in these last days. However, Jeremiah’s prophecy referred to Egypt and Babylon respectively, and these battles have already taken place. The wording here is quite specific, he “spewed water out of his mouth like a flood“.

Satan will still try to imitate God. This time it will be a counterfeit flood, only on a much smaller scale. God used a global flood to completely destroy all those who rebelled against Him. Satan may try to imitate God, but in the end he will be a failure.

Satan sending a small scale flood is certainly not out of the question. We know he has a certain command over the forces of nature.

  • Job 1:16
  • Job 1:18-19

Satan should know that his attempt to stop God’s people by way of water could not work.

While the rest of the earth perished by water, God’s faithful were protected by the ark.

  • Hebrews 11:7
  • 1 Peter 3:18-20

While being pursued by Pharaoh, the Red sea could not stop God’s people.

  • Exodus 14:21-22

The Jordan River could not stand in their way.

  • Joshua 3:14-17

And in this case, Satan’s flood waters will not be able to stop them. As the desert earth absorbs the flood, Israel will be helped by God and preserved from destruction.

  • Isaiah 26:20
  • Isaiah 43:2

Just as the ancient Egyptians were swallowed by the earth, Israel will be delivered by God’s power.

  • Exodus 15:12


Satan will turn his rage against every follower Christ he can find—Jew or Gentile. Those who the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus will be targeted. Obedience to God’s word always marks a genuine believer.

  • John 14:15

It is a mark which we cannot conceal.

The apostle Paul tells us that we are in a spiritual battle.

  • Ephesians 6:10-12

John says that the war is still being waged, but the outcome has already been determined. Satan and his followers have been defeated and will be destroyed. Nevertheless Satan is battling daily to bring more into his ranks and to keep his own from defecting to God’s side. Those who belong to Christ have gone into battle on God’s side, and he has guaranteed them victory. Don’t waver in your commitment to Christ. A great spiritual battle is being fought, and there is no time for indecision.


Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons