Sabbath School Lesson for March 25-31, 2023
Overview of Lesson 1, Jesus Wins–Satan Loses
Memory Text: “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17 NKJV
Topics this week will include:
- Sunday: The Battle in Heaven–Our free will allows us to choose which side of the war we are on. (Revelation 12:7-9)
- Monday: Satan’s Attack–Satan has attacked and been defeated by Jesus multiple times. (Revelation 12:4-6)
- Tuesday: Accepting Jesus’ Victory–His victory is ours. (Revelation 12:10, 11)
- Wednesday: The Woman in the Wilderness–God’s people have been persecuted. (Revelation 12:14-16)
- Thursday: God’s End-time Remnant–God’s remnant people will be faithful and obedient to the end. (Revelation 12:17)
Revelation 12 is a pivotal chapter in the book of Revelation. It summarizes the entire cosmic conflict between Christ and Satan. In this chapter are outlined Satan’s rebellion and forced removal from heaven, the attempt to stop Jesus from carrying out His goal on earth, his attack on God’s people for 1260 years during the Middle Ages, and his final attempt to deceive God’s people in the last days.
Sunday: The Battle in Heaven
Without the freedom to choose, real love does not exist. God gives us the choice to love Him or not, because He desires our friendship and wants mutual love from His created beings.
Seeing how Lucifer made the choice in heaven not to love God shows us that we, too, have the freedom to love God or not. But the result of our choice determines whether we remain in God’s presence.
The demonstration of our allegiance to either God or Satan will be even more difficult in the final days of earth’s history. It’s best to follow God and overcome our inner battles now, before persecution gets worse.
Revelation 12:7-9, 20:2, and Genesis 3:1
- Why do you think Satan is referred to as a dragon or serpent?
2 Timothy 1:9
- How long has Jesus given us the grace of a free will that enables us to love Him by choice?
- When did the plan of our salvation begin?
Monday: Satan’s Attack
Satan attacked Jesus the entire time He was on earth. The devil did all he could to prevent Him from becoming our Sacrifice. At His birth, King Herod was impressed by Satan to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem. Before His public ministry began, the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he tried to persuade Him not to do God’s will. And after His death, Satan had his tomb sealed to try to keep God’s Son from returning to heaven.
All these measures failed, however, and Christ did have the victory then, as He has in every battle with the enemy before or since. But Satan knows the war isn’t over yet. Until Jesus returns and re-creates our earth, we will be subject to his attacks. Only through faith in Jesus’ victory can we be overcomers of the devil’s relentless efforts to gain our allegiance.
Satan will no doubt ramp up his efforts to thwart God’s plan as we near the Second Coming. We need to be extra vigilant in these last days by claiming the victory Jesus has already won and freely offers us.
Revelation 12:4-6, 9, 9:19
- How many angels were thrown out of heaven with Lucifer?
- What is meant by the “tail” of the dragon? Why is it so dangerous?
- How can we be free from Satan’s attacks?
Tuesday: Accepting Jesus’ Victory
The second and third chapters of Revelation describe seven churches that represent God’s people down through the ages. Whether it was the loveless church of Ephesus, the persecuted church of Smyrna, the compromising church of Pergamos, the corrupt church of Thyatira, the dead church of Sardis, the faithful church of Philadelphia, or the lukewarm church of Laodicea, they all had a common theme. The words to “he who overcomes” is found at the end of each message.
None of the churches have been perfect, just as none of us individually can claim perfection. There is one thing we can claim, however. And that is the victory that Jesus offers us. It’s His victory, not ours. We can be overcomers with Him.
Revelation 12:10 reminds us that Satan, the accuser of the brethren, has been cast down. Jesus has won the victory over sin and offers it freely to all who claim it. By His sacrificial blood, we can be His overcoming, obedient servants and be saved at last in His kingdom (Revelation 12:11). By loving our Savior more than we love our own lives, we become overcomers and witnesses of His wonderful grace.
- Why is Satan so intent on accusing the people of God, the brethren?
- We know the blood of the Lamb is how we become overcomers, but how does the word of our testimony (our witness) contribute to our victory?
Wednesday: The Woman in the Wilderness
Besides Satan’s attack on the male Child, God’s Son, the One who was to rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 12:6), we see that his anger is also turned against a woman who has to flee to the wilderness to escape persecution (Revelation 12:13, 14). This woman symbolically represents the true church, referred to as the bride of Christ.
Revelation 12:6 mentions that this persecution will last 1,260 days, which prophetically is 1,260 years. See Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:4-6. This time period must be a valuable identifying mark for how long the persecution lasts because it is mentioned in other places in Scripture, such as Revelation 11:2, 3, 13:5 and even Daniel 7:25.
The time when the church suffered for 1,260 years was no doubt the time when a corrupt church united with worldly governments and tried to eliminate all of God’s faithful followers between the years 538 to 1798 A.D. This time is known as the Middle Ages, when many martyrs suffered for their faith.
It’s comforting to know that God nourished and provided for the church during that time period (Revelation 12:14-16). His people were enabled to stay faithful, despite the mighty opposition, even death, that was hurled against them. The Protestant Reformation grew out of this time of oppression, giving us an example of how God will also take care of us in the last days.
Revelation 12:6, 14-16
- In what ways does God nourish or provide for us when we are persecuted and suffer oppression?
- How does knowing about this time in history fortify us to withstand our own persecution, especially the time of trouble right before the Second Coming?
Thursday: God’s End-time Remnant
Since Satan’s attacks haven’t worked on Jesus Himself so far, his next best target is what Jesus loves most–His people, His church. This group of the faithful, called the remnant, scattered all over the world, will be much smaller at the very end of time, so the devil will feel he has more chances of success at destroying them. We can expect him to ramp up his efforts to destroy God’s people in the last days and must be prepared spiritually for that final battle with God’s enemy.
By keeping Jesus central to our lives, we are assured of our salvation, even during those difficult days at the end of time. As some have put it: in Jesus, by Jesus, through Jesus, and because of Jesus, we can have victory over all of Satan’s deceptive tricks to deceive us and keep us out of our heavenly home.
- What characteristics will God’s remnant people have?
- What are some of the things we must do to become like the remnant?
Friday: Final Thoughts
Revelation 12 is the perfect chapter to begin the study of the book of Revelation. This chapter, falling in the middle of the book, gives us a brief overview of the controversy between God and Satan that is still taking place on our planet. It prepares us for learning about three important, angelic messages that are delivered to us in the last days, which are revealed in chapter 14.
Chapter 12 helps us understand that there are four great battles:
- First, the battle that originated in heaven, resulting in Satan and those angels who followed him being thrown out of heaven.
- The next battle occurred while God’s Son was on earth. Satan put every effort into preventing Jesus, the male Child, from becoming our Sacrifice.
- Then, we are shown a time period of great persecution against God’s people that lasted 1,260 days, or prophetic years. Many have seen this as a description of the church’s domination during the Middle Ages, when church and state united to accomplish their purposes of destroying God’s faithful.
- And finally, the time comes when the remnant are persecuted heavily again, but remain faithful during the final days of earth’s history, before Christ returns to earth to complete His plan of salvation.
Knowing the victories that have already been won by our Savior helps us be strong when we are faced with any temptation or trial that may come our way. Jesus’ love always triumphs. Resting in this love ultimately makes us triumphant overcomers and obedient servants of God in the end.
Next Week: A Moment of Destiny
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