Revelation 11:15 - 12:17
 You may recognize these verses - they are included in the Hallelujah Chorus (Handel). Others of the verses call to mind “A Mighty Fortress is our God” - a powerful hymn of faith. Yet, in Revelation, these songs of faith come after great war in heaven where Satan is cast to Earth, and before prolonged tribulation and Satanic rule on Earth.
For Reflection: These verses reflect the celebration of the victory of Christ over Satan that is complete in heaven and will be won on Earth in later chapters. Where do you feel the tension between Christ’s victory over sin and death on the one hand, and a world in which evil and suffering is so strong and Christ’s expected imminent return of the first century has not happened after two millennia?
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The Seventh Trumpet
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord
and of his Messiah,[a]
and he will reign forever and ever.”
16 Then the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 singing,
“We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty,
who are and who were,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
18 The nations raged,
but your wrath has come,
and the time for judging the dead,
for rewarding your servants, the prophets
and saints and all who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple, and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
The Woman and the Dragon
12 A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. 3 Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to deliver a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule[b] all the nations with a scepter of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.
Michael Defeats the Dragon
7 And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven proclaiming,
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,[c]
for the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
11 But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
12 Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath
because he knows that his time is short!”
The Dragon Fights Again on Earth
13 So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued[d] the woman who had delivered the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman and went off to wage war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.