New Defender's Study Bible Notes
12:5 rod of iron. Note Psalm 2:9 and Revelation 19:15. This clearly identifies the Lord Jesus Christ as the “man child,” and therefore as the promised Seed.
12:5 caught up. The primary reference here is certainly to the resurrection and ascension of Christ. However, the phrase “caught up” is also used in connection with the rapture of believers (I Thessalonians 4:17). Christ also promised the overcoming believers that they would also share in His rule of the nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27), so this verse probably includes all those who were “in Christ” at the time of the rapture.
12:7 dragon. At this time of Jacob’s trouble, the archangel Michael will “stand up” for them (Daniel 12:1), and this will result in a great war in heaven—probably in the atmospheric heaven, which had been Satan’s domain, and where the Lord has met with His redeemed and raptured saints. There Satan and his angels then will be defeated and cast permanently down to the earth (Revelation 12:9). How this war will be fought has not been revealed, but both faithful and fallen angels have tremendous energies and powers, of which humans have little comprehension.
12:9 cast out. Appropriately, and providentially, this is the central verse in the book of Revelation. The dragon is here identified as the serpent of Eden (Genesis 3:1), as the Satan who tested Job (Job 1:6), and as the Devil who tested Jesus (Matthew 4:1). See also Revelation 20:2.
12:9 deceiveth the whole world. As the great deceiver, Satan has deceived the whole world with the great lie with which he evidently deceived himself in the beginning—namely, that God is not really the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all things, and that, consequently, both men and angels can reject His Word, rebel against His rule and ultimately aspire to be “gods” themselves. This lie finds its only rationale in the false premise of evolution, the idea that the universe always existed or exists independently of a Creator and is able to evolve itself into higher and higher orders of being. This lie may take the form of either atheism or pantheism, but both deny God and His revealed truth of special creation. With it, Satan has deceived the whole world, in every age and culture since the creation. Note I John 5:19; II Corinthians 4:3-4.
12:9 into the earth. Satan had long ago been cast out of his heavenly authority as the anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:14-17), though he still has access to God as “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10). Even that access will end when he is defeated by Michael; from then on he and his angels will be limited to the earth alone, where he will still desperately try to overthrow God.