Saturday, 6 March 2021
Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:12
The previous verses relayed the fact that the devil and his angels were cast to the earth. However, those who had come to Christ “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.” With that in mind, the words of this verse now are a point of rejoicing for some, and of terror for others. In them, John begins with, “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them.”
The word translated as “dwell” is skénoó. It signifies the pitching of a tent, and thus tabernacling. HELPS Word Studies says, “For the Christian, 4637 (skēnóō) is dwelling in intimate communion with the resurrected Christ – even as He who Himself lived in unbroken communion with the Father during the days of His flesh (Jn 1:14).”
Those who “did not love their lives to the death” of the previous verse are now given their rest as they rejoice and tabernacle in intimate communion in heaven. However, John continues with, “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea!”
The word translated as “inhabitants” is set in contrast to those who tabernacle. It signifies one who is a permanent resident. The earth is his home. Whereas those who gave up their lives found life, those who keep their lives will only find woe. The reason for this is then given by John, saying, “For the devil has come down to you.”
This has been true since he was cast out of heaven, but now there is a difference and a sense of urgency to the matter. Christ has come, the redemptive plan of God has been worked out for two thousand years, and during that time the devil has continued to wreak havoc among men. However, those who were Christ’s have always been safely guarded by Him. But with the church gone at the rapture, and with those who followed that event through martyrdom, there is only the world with very little resistance left.
Because of this, the remaining part of the tribulation period will be as close to hell on earth as anything man has ever seen. In fact, Jesus said as much –
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:21, 22
It is now, during this period that the devil will bring great chaos to the earth. He is, as John says, “having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” The devil is aware of what lies ahead. He knows he will be bound for a thousand years. But before that happens, it is his intent and design to bring utter ruin to as many as he can. He will work as much devastation in just a few years as he has brought in eons before this.
The sad part of this is that the words are written for any and all to see. Countless houses have a copy of the Bible lying around, and yet how many will see this terrible time firsthand because they failed to simply pick it up and accept God’s pardon which has been offered through the giving of Christ.
Life application: The devil knows the Bible and the prophecies it contains. The world has come to the point of the tribulation period where there is no remedy left. The remaining amount of time is known directly from the Bible. It is a three- and one-half year span where the devil will work his iniquity. He will do this through the antichrist and the false prophet, and the world will follow their lead.
Once the wheels are placed in motion, nothing can stop them because the book is sealed. In our hands is God’s eternal and unchanging word – the Holy Bible. It is a roadmap to the events to come and it is completely reliable in all it contains and proclaims. The world will face many great calamities during this period. This is not only spoken in Revelation. Isaiah speaks of what is coming as well. In his prophecies, he says that man will become more rare than fine gold.
Few will survive the calamitous events of the last half of the tribulation. But for the people who trust in the Lord, there will be rest. Now is the time to call out to Him and be saved. Now is the time to put your hope, trust, and faith in JESUS.
Surely there is a time for rejoicing and a time for mourning. Lord, in the life of those who have called on you, there is the surety of eternal salvation. But in the lives of many others, there isn’t that assurance. Please hear our prayers for those who have not yet called on Jesus. We pray that they will know You before their time of judgment comes. Amen.