Revelation Chapter 12, Part 14

Verse 12 (continued) “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the
inhabitants of the earth and sea! For the devil has come down to you having great wrath,
because he knows that he has a short time
.”

“The “
heavens” which are here called upon to rejoice, were the Roman Catholic heavens, consisting of the
popes, the bishops, and prelates; and the “
Ye that dwell in them” undoubtedly has reference to the
under priest-hood, brothers, nuns, and the so-called general membership of that church (
the church
laity
).

While in one sense of the word, the Papacy is another “
beast” (government—likened unto a leopard in
Rev 13:2); yet, in another sense, it is the same “beast” only that another “head” was now in the place of
control; yet, thinking itself to be the Vicar of Christ Jesus, it would look upon the pagan system as the
Devil himself. It accordingly, would warn those concerned, “
the earth” (the civil powers) and “the sea
(the ever-restless masses of the people), of the Devil’s probable vindictiveness over having been cast out
of his erstwhile heaven by the “
man-child”—the “woman’s” offspring.” (Notes on the Revelation of
Jesus Christ
”, Page 201)

“The false church quickly took on the power of the persecutor, and if used the dragon (civil power) to
enforce its persecuting power. Throughout the 1,260 years of Papal dominance, the earthly princes readily
obeyed Papal dictates knowing that the rule of the church seemed endless, but that of the civil princes,
only a “
short time” -- unless, of course, they obeyed.”  N.A.N.O.R. Page 156

This part of Verse 12 is parenthetical. The Lord is speaking to His own people, designated as
the
youclass, giving them notice of dire things to follow, namely, that the dragon or civil
power would henceforth search
over land and seain hot pursuit to persecute true Christians.
Woe” to any who upon land or sea would dare to shelter, hide, or harbor any of the Lord’s little ones, for
the dragon would vent his vengeance upon such, inflicting loss of limb, life, and/or property on those who
dared to show any sympathy or compassion for the woman on her flight into the wilderness
(Verse 14).

Why was the Devil more animated in his persecuting zeal as a result of his experience in the former
warfare, evoking the “
woe” warning by Jesus? Satan prefers open opposition to God as the accuser of
the Lord’s people. He does not like the role of a counterfeit, of having to do things in God’s or Christ’s
name. However, when his former strategy failed, the very fact that Satan had to change himself into an
angel of light—or in this case to have “
water” (truth) come out of his mouth (Verse 15) to counteract
what was undermining his empire—showed he realized he was losing the battle altogether if something
was not done.
The true Church thrived better as a result of Satan’s first strategy, because it was
a purifying factor for those rightly exercised thereby; when troubles assailed, pretenders were
more prone to drop out
. Being cast out of heaven, Satan was angry that he had to compromise and
change his prior dominant role through the dragon power, and now fight truth with simulated truth
(
deception). Ever since this setback, he has realized the life-and-death nature of the struggle, that his
days were numbered unless he could come up with a plan to outwit God.

The period of papal rule over the dragon continued to afford Satan the opportunity to satiate his anger
against those who now were seen to be an even graver foe than the pseudo-Michael class. During the
Holy Inquisition period the priests or the clergy interrogated “
heretics” who purportedly espoused false
worship. The priests instructed the “
guilty” ones to recant, to acknowledge their errors, and to return to
the Mother Church so that their sins would be forgiven. Those who did not follow this advice were
remanded over to the state to be put on the racks and tortured to death. Generally, the priests
themselves would not perform the actual torture, for they were “
pious” witnesses. The same principle
operated in Christ’s day when the Jewish clergy turned Jesus over to Pilate for crucifixion and, adopting a
form of godliness, feigned loyalty to Caesar.

The dragon and the pseudo-Michael are two separate systems through which Satan operated at
the time of this vision
. Satan first used the pagan power as his religious mouthpiece, but when that plan
felled
, he then had to change his strategy and divide his authority between the two systems. Regardless
of the instrument used, he still is best characterized as the “
serpent” or “dragon” because these terms
reveal his true identity. Satan would rather have people worship him directly. That he is not deceived in the
sense he does not know what he is doing is indicated by his titles which mean “
opposer,” “adversary,”
and “
deceiver.” T.K.O.R. Pages 311,312

In our next post we will take a look at Verse 13


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