To the Bible reader that is unfamiliar with all the scriptures, the book of Revelation is difficult to understand. It is hidden by a lock, one that is opened by the book of Isaiah, Zechariah, Ezekiel, and Daniel -- as well as other scriptures throughout the Bible.
Leaders of cult followings use this to their advantage, taking passages and changing their meanings to represent something besides the vision that John saw. One example of this is Revelation 12.
In an article "Birth of the Nation," published March 1, 1925 by the Watchtower (Jehovah's Witnesses), Revelation 12 was reinterpreted. Satan being cast down to the earth applied to 1914 onwards. Though objections were raised by the editorial committee, others such as William Branham would take their views and run with them.
All who subscribe to the reinterpreted scripture believe that Satan's being cast down from heaven applied to the end times, and that "When the Church goes up, Satan comes down." (Branham, 63-0318). They also believe that the Archangel, Michael, is none other than Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12 describes the great battle in heaven. Michael and his angels were fighting against the dragon, and this dragon was the ancient serpent: none other than satan himself. He was the deceiver of the whole world, yet he and his angels were thrown down to earth.
A loud voice in heaven cried out, "Now salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down! He has been conquered by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, for they loved not their own lives even unto death!"
John writes that the heavens should now rejoice, and all that dwell within. But woe unto the earth and sea, for the devil has come down with great wrath. He knows that his time is short.
The scripture describes a woman, giving birth to children, and the dragon that was cast down became furious. He made war on her offspring, which John calls "those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus."
The key to unlocking this passage is Luke 10. Luke describes the birth of the offspring, the Church, the universal Bride of Christ. when the seventy-two went out to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Luke describes them as overflowing with amazement.
Luke 17-20 says, "The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!'" Jesus replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you."
As humans, we try to apply our time and space to the Kingdom of Heaven, and it confuses us when Jesus and the disciples say, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Truly, the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and Jesus told the seventy-two that Satan had been cast down to earth. Just as John wrote in Revelation 12, Christ was soon to be placed into authority, given all power and salvation. His blood, the blood of the Lamb, the eternal sacrifice was about to be applied to the alter for our sins. Satan now stands defeated, powerless before us. We are now more than conquerers through Christ Jesus, because His blood covers all.
Now, notice, at the end time--at the end of the church ages, now, he is called--he and his children are called the antichrist, 'cause anything that's against Christ is antichrist. And anything that's against the Word is against Christ, 'cause Christ is the Word. Now, he's antichrist.
Then in Revelations 12:7-9, when Satan is cast out, the accuser... You want to put that down, 'cause I want to read it; we haven't got time now, 'cause it's twent--fifteen till ten. See?
But in Revelations 12:7-9, Satan the spirit, the devil, which is up there now, accuser of our brethren, all right; the Church is taken up, and Satan is cast out. When the Church goes up, Satan comes down. Then Satan incarnates himself in the antichrist and is called the beast.
Now, let's turn, Revelations 12. Let's just read this just a little bit 'cause we--we'll have time to do it. And let's read Revelations the--the 12th chapter and the 13th verse.
And the same hour there was a great earthquake... (No, I got the--I got the wrong place, the 13th)
And when the dragon saw that he was cast out into the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. Now, you see, he was cast out of the earth and becomes incarnate. As the antichrist spirit become incarnate into a man, that man changes from one thing to another, from an antichrist spirit to a false prophet, and then the beast comes into him.
Oh, my. Do you see that? In there--Not the Bride, isn't going to be out here laboring in the vineyards. No, sir. She's the Bride. She's the Queen to the King. It's the others that labor out there, the nation, not the Bride. Amen.
All right, notice these messengers now... These messengers of the Revelations 12, these two prophets, they're going to preach, "The Kingdom is at hand." See? The Kingdom of heaven's to be set up. The time, last three and one-half years of Daniel's seventieth week promised to the Jews, His people...
Watchtower article: http://archive.org/stream/BirthOfTheNationFromMarch11925Watchtower/1925_March_1_Watchtower_Birth_of_the_Nation#page/n1/mode/2up
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Have we applied the Sacrifice? Has our faith been placed on Jesus Christ, or do we believe salvation comes through Christ along with another human? Do we hold to the testimony of Jesus, which is the Word, or do we hold to the doctrines of men? Do we stand with the scriptures, which say Satan is now cast down, powerless? Or do we hold to the teachings of the Watchtower and William Branham, who claim Satan is still in power? Are we actually trying to lift Satan back up through the doctrines of men?