This will begin by giving you the scripture from the King James Version of the Bible, then will go into our description of what the verses mean. You will be able to read various additional information contained in more specific files under "Research Materials".
Revelation chapter 12 -14 are explanatory prophecies that describe some of the major personages and movements of the second half of the Tribulation period. Beginning with the woman who represents Israel and her child who is Christ, the Messiah.
Although chapter 11 verse 15 records the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the effects it produces are not described until chapters 15 through 18. Chapters 12 - 14 restates or summarizes that same period, but describing events from Satan's vantage point. Including taking the readers back to the original rebellion as Satan is cast to the earth along with one third of the angels. (demons)
12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
The woman represents Israel, and her child is Christ; the Messiah (12:5; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 66:7.8; Micah 5:2; Romans. 9:4,5)
The woman is not the church, since the church did not bring forth Christ, But rather He brought forth the church.
The sun reflects redeemed Israel's unique glory, brilliance and dignity because of her exulted status and shows her as God's chosen nation.
The moon under her feet alludes to God's promise of dominion, and the crown of twelve stars pictures royalty and relates to the 12 tribes of Israel. Go to Genesis 37 verses 9 - 11 and read about the dream Joseph had about the sun, moon and 11 stars which were bowing down to Joseph. (who was the 12th)
In this look toward heaven by John, we are taken to a different aspect of the battle that has gone on through all ages between Jesus and Satan. If Jesus is in warfare with Satan, then His people are in battle as well.
12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Women, who have had children, know that there is pain involved in birth. This Scripture is spiritually speaking of the birth of Jesus and of Christianity.
The birth pains refer to the period before the birth of Christ when Israel was waiting for redemption by the Messiah (Rom. 8:22, 23).
12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
We see here this "red dragon". This is the devil, and he is shown red all over to show his murderous and destructive personality. This is the only place in the New Testament that dragon is used. Here it is not a literal "dragon", but a figure of Satan. (Satan)
These seven are heads of evil governments. This world power, through these earthly kingdoms, comes from Satan himself. The seven crowned heads mean universal rule, and the ten horns mean world power to the utmost.
Five emperors had come and gone by the Apostle John's time; one ruled during his time; and the seventh represents the Antichrist to come. We will get into more on this in a later chapter about the 6 empires that have come which is most interesting.
His ten horns show Satan's connection with the fourth beast of Daniel 7 (verses 7 and 24) and with the Beast from the sea in Chapter 13 of Rev.
12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
When John tells us that the devils' tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to earth, he is describing the original demonic uprising against God.
Satan somehow managed to convince a third of all God's angels to join him in his rebellion; these beings we now call "demons" or "fallen angels." They serve Satan and play an important role in the judgments of the Tribulation.
We see here, also, the woman about to birth, and this is the birth of Jesus the Christ.
Satan used Herod to try to kill Jesus the moment He was born. That was not God's plan, so Jesus was protected until the time of the cross. This also indicates here the birth of the church, which the devil has tried to devour every way he could.
12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne.
This is speaking of Jesus Christ. Jesus was caught up unto God to set on the right hand of God at the resurrection and is setting at the right hand of God. When He returns, Jesus will rule all nations as Lord of lords and King of kings.
During Jesus' earthly, millennium kingdom, this rule is a breaking, and shattering work of judgment.
An iron rod is one that cannot be broken and speaks of the resoluteness of Christ's rule. He will swiftly and immediately judge all sin and put down any rebellion.
12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.
The wilderness represents anywhere outside Palestine. During the last half of the Tribulation period (1260 days is three and one half years), Israel will take refuge among the Gentile nations, where God will care for her. (Perhaps through the Gentile believers) (Tribulation)
God will frustrate Satan's attempt to destroy Israel during the Tribulation and will hide His people just a Jesus stated in Matthew chapter 24 verses 15 - 21.
12:7-8 "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels," "And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven."
The vision of war in heaven anticipates Satan's exclusion from "heaven" and his restriction to the earth during the last half of the Tribulation. Michael the archangel is the leader of God's holy angels (Dan 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 9).
At some point of the Tribulation period, God will empower Michael and his forces to cast Satan and his forces out of access to heaven, so that Satan must thereafter confine his activities to the earthly sphere.
I believe there is an order of command in heaven as there is here on the earth. We see here, that not only the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is being attacked here on the earth, but that there is war in heaven as well. Here we see defeat of Satan to such an extent that he is not allowed in heaven any more, not even to accuse the believers.
His defeat on the earth is complete as well. His doom was sealed when Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.
12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The evil one is given four designations: (1) Dragon pictures his monstrous character as the enemy of God; (2) Serpent connects him with the clever deception of Eve in Genesis 3; (3) Devil means "slanderer" (v. 10); (4) Satan means "Adversary" (1 Pet. 5:8). He also deceiveth the whole world (20:8).
Notice we are told here, that the serpent that tricked Eve was the devil as well. You can call him by any name you want to. If whatever you call him is evil, it is the devil or his handiwork.
Here we see that he deceiveth (is continually deceiving) the whole world. The devil runs to and fro throughout the earth seeking whom he may devour. The devil does not even bother the lost at all. He already has them. He is after the believer.
He comes to church regularly, trying to coax you away. He brings false doctrine and strife in the church. Check everyone and everything they say by the Word of God. The deceiver will come dressed in sheep's clothing, Matt. 7:15 He plants doubt and fear wherever he goes.
The devil is the very one who brings in the "feel good" religion. Beware, he is a destroyer, he appealed to Eve's flesh and destroyed her. The flesh is at war with the Spirit. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE FLESH.
12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
The words salvation, strength (Greek dunamis, "power"), kingdom, and power (Gr. exousia, "authority") all refer to the coming of the millennial kingdom of Christ. Kingdom
He (the devil) is tossed out once and for all time. His day is over. The last half of the Tribulation will be a time of terrible trouble on earth (Jer. 30:7; Dan 9:27; 12:1; Zeph. 1:15; Matt 24:15-22). It will be Satan's final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of Christ's kingdom so his wrath intensifies of his persecution of Israel, God's chosen nation.
12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Victory is Theirs - Thank God that His Word does not leave the story of the Tribulation saints with their earthly demise, but loudly proclaims their ultimate victory through the blood of the Lamb. The "they" here are the Christians. When Jesus shed his blood on Calvary and became the perfect Lamb sacrifice once for all time, Satan was defeated.
You can see here the word of our testimony is when we open our mouths and declare that we believe Jesus Christ is Lord, and also believe He rose from the grave; we will be saved. We must proclaim this, even if we know it will mean our life. We are not to regard life here on this earth as very valuable. The life that is important is in heaven. This world is not the Christian's home. We are just passing through.
12:12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Here we Christians are told to look up and rejoice when we see terrible things happening, because our redemption draweth nigh. The devil, even now, is in an all out push to destroy the church as it used to be fifty years ago. He realizes his time is running out, and he is working on the believers, trying to convert them to his way. His scheme is to tell us not to be a radical Christian. He is trying to make us not take God real seriously. He doesn't mind going to most churches, because he hears very little pure Word of God and no sermons on the blood. Watering down Jesus is one of his favorite tools to destroy the church.
It will be Satan's final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of Christ's kingdom. Therefore he has great wrath and intensifies his persecution of Israel, God's chosen nation, which setting up his own counterfeit kingdom through the Beast, the false messiah.
12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].
Satan's persecution of Israel is apparently an attempt to exterminate God's chosen people, thereby preventing the fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham and David in the messianic from persecution.
12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
The wings of a great eagle represent swift escape from persecution. The eagle in many instances in the Bible is symbolic of God. I believe, it means that God will protect us in the midst of the problems. This I believe is what the "sealing of the believers" is all about.
That phrase comes from Dan. 12 verse 11. This refers to the second half of the Tribulation which begins by the abomination of desolation. In Matt. 24 verse 15 Jesus said "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)." Abomination of Desolation
During this time, God protects Israel for the Satan who may know where the Jews are hiding, but will be unable to get at them because of God's divine protection.
12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
The flood symbolizes overwhelming evil and persecution.
This imagery symbolizes trouble in general. Satan's forces will sweep towards the Jew's hiding place like a great flood so as to be drown, killed or consumed by them.
12:16-17 "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
This is liken to the army of Pharaoh's went all of his chariots were destroyed in Exodus 15. Verse 12 states: You stretched out Your right Hand, the earth swallowed them."
This really angers Satan. He cannot get to Jesus, as we said before, so he is venting his anger on the followers of Jesus. Notice here that there is only a remnant left that has not fallen for the devils false doctrine. A remnant means a very small portion that is left.
You see here, that this small portion (remnant) of Christians are still keeping God's commandants, and even though the opposition has been great, they still have given the testimony of Jesus Christ. These two names (Jesus, Christ) together mean The Savior, the Anointed One.
The remnant may be a reference either to (1) Jewish believers, who have refused to worship Satan and his Beast or (2) Gentile Believers, who are the seed of Abraham through Christ.
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