The Battle for Bethlehem
Dragons, angels fighting…. this is not your typical manger scene, is it? Revelation Chapter 12 (posted below) is filled with symbolism, and we have no idea what all the various implications are. But what is clear from that text is that there was a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil over the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan, the serpent of old, and his fallen angels were after this particular mother and Child. But this dark, evil dragon was no match for Michael and his angelic warriors. Once again good triumphed over evil… but it took a battle… it took a fight!Now can you see? The manger didn’t just happen… it took at war in the heavenlies.
Looking at a greeting card version of Christmas it looks so peaceful, so sweet. You’d never guess there was a war going on. Why a war? What’s the big deal about a baby being born in a manger? It’s just a feed trough out in a stable ‘because there was no room for them in the inn’. But this was no ordinary Baby. This was God incarnate… Emmanuel, God with us. This was God sending His very own son to the earth as a MAN – as a human being.
This was no theatre, and He was not acting. This was for real. His humanity was not a costume. Jesus came as a man. He laid aside his divinity like a king would lay aside his robe. God – all powerful, all knowing, without limits or boundaries, took on flesh. Think about that. God unable to feed himself… God having to learn how to walk, how to talk…. how to obey His parents!
As Christians, we understand Christ’s divinity and worship Him as God. Hallelujah! But the Christmas story is about His humanity. You see, He came as an infant… helpless, vulnerable. Why? Why would He do such a thing? And, why would satan war to try and stop it? What’s so threatening about a baby in a manger?
In the beginning, when God created the world, He gave dominion of the earth to mankind. In His sovereignty this was His choice, His plan. He would not rule or control us, for love never forces its own way. Loves does not dominate! But we fell prey to the schemes of the enemy. He convinced us that God was holding out us. We became selfish, insecure, greedy, violent… domineering. We empowered the dragon by agreeing and acting on his thoughts, on his will. And the world became dark, just like the he likes it.
On that Christmas morning, the Light and Glory of Heaven broke into darkness. God would not violate the dominion He had given to man… so he became man. We had fallen victim and were now enslaved to the dragon in our thinking. Jesus came so we could be free. He would pay the price for sins, our debt, so there would be no separation from God… but that was only part of the mission. We could have kept sacrificing lambs. But that would not have freed us from the dragon. That would not have changed our thinking. It would not have restored our identity or our dominion. Jesus came to show us the truth of our dominion. He came to show us the way!!
The dragon was lying when he said God was holding out us. He tricked us! God held nothing back then; He holds nothing back now. Mankind still has dominion on the earth. It’s dark here only because we allow it to be. People still unknowingly empower the dragon.
Jesus came so there COULD be peace on earth and good will toward men! Jesus came to show us the way. Our world will become light when we take our place as kings instead of slaves… when agree and act on Love’s will, on Love’s way of ruling.… when we come into agreement and unity with Emmanuel! Our world will become light when we stop empowering darkness.
Christ came to bring you the keys of His marvelous Kingdom of Light! This is your Christmas present. He has come to set you free. You have the key to unlock the chains that bind you and those around you. Throw off that cloak of the enemy – that false identity that says you are anything less. Become who you were created to be – powerful, significant, loving.
Together, we can take this world from dragon and establish the Kingdom of light on earth. We can do it because God is with us! As believers He is in us – closer than our skin! Now go! Be light in this world.
Revelation Chapter 12(New American Standard Bible)
1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the wholeworld; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.