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Revelation 12

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  • Revelation 12

    “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2Corinthians 4:6
    1. INTRODUCTION
      1. You could actually look at chapter twelve as a story of creation retold in symbolic form. As Paul said in 2Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
        1. This is the only other place in Scripture where we see the woman directly pitted against Satan – first in the Garden of Eden, and now here in Revelation 12.
      2. It is also a story of how the Light – Jesus Christ, shone in the darkness through the spreading of the Gospel throughout the world – the Great Commission.
      3. Finally, we’re going to see that, as in the Garden, there is a great battle that ensues between the Light (Christ and His Gospel) and darkness (Satan and his ‘gospel’).


    Rev. 12:1-2 - 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.
    1. The Church and her Savior

    “Let there be Light” (the light of the Gospel which has come into the world)
    • The chapter opens with a sign of a woman:As we know from other places in Scripture, the invisible church is often referred to in female terms:for example: a wife of God, the bride of Christ, a mother and daughter of Zion, etc. (In Isaiah 54, John 3:29, Galatians 4:26, etc.)And in this passage, it is no different.The woman referred to here represents the whole family of God – or Christ’s church.
    • She is depicted as being “clothed with the sun” “and the moon under her feet”. Her being clothed with the sun represents her being justified, sanctified, and in union with Christ who causes her righteousness to shine.
    • The moon, representing the law given by Moses, has been put under her feet.The law being the "lesser" light that "ruled" Israel (the church), until the "Light of the world" dawned in Israel – the true light, Jesus Christ. She, the church, is now ruled by Christ, and therefore is superior to the reflected and lesser light of the revelation made by Moses and given in the law. Christ’s coming meant there would no longer be a need to conduct the ceremonial aspect of the law, and therefore it has been subordinated. For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things..." (Hebrews 10:1)
    • She is depicted with a crown of twelve stars on her head.These represent both the twelve Patriarchs and twelve Apostles, united. The doctrine of the gospel, preached by the patriarchs and Apostles, is a crown of glory to all believers.
    • We see that the woman is at the hour of birth.The child she is carrying signifies Christ’s entrance into a fallen world to save His bride, the church.
    • She is crying out in pain as she is in labor to give birth.We see the of the fall being represented here when, in the Garden, the LORD proclaimed “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth” (Gen. 3:16). The pain here may also represent the pain of conviction a sinner experiences when he is reborn at conversion. Jesus describes His leaving and the disciples sorrow as a woman about to give birth “A little while you will weep and lament: there shall be grief. But only for a time. Then joy will come.” (John 16:20)Paul describes his great “labors” of the Gospel to the Galatians as giving birth all over again because they were being deceived. And then of course Jesus describes the new believers as having to be “born again”.





    Rev. 12: 3-4 - 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. 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.
    1. The enemy of the Savior.
      “The prince of the power of the air” (the darkness that has come into the world)
    2. We see a parallel scene unfolding here in Revelation 12 as in Genesis 3 where there is a confrontation between “the woman” and “the serpent” in this case “A great red dragon”. The serpent in Genesis is described as “more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” He was subtle, cunning, and deliberate, deceitful, and disarming. He speaks with Eve. But here the subtleties have been removed; he is described as overpowering, being “great” in size, and “red” in color, (representing warfare and bloodshed). In the Greek it is “pyros” meaning (fiery-red). And “dragon” from the Greek “drakown” meaning “huge sea serpent”.
      • Seven holds the meaning of “completeness” i.e. “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Genesis 2:1-2,
      • Ten holds the meaning of “fullness” in the decimal system. There are only “ten” numbers by which every number combination comes from. The Ten Commandments as given by God is to be a full sufficiency to acceptance with Him. Or the ten plaques. A “fullness” and sufficient cycle of God’s judgments.,
      • The seven diadems represent dominion.
      • So what does this all mean?Satan has been then granted by God complete authority, power, and dominion which are ascribed to him by Paul in Ephesians 2:2 as “the prince of the power of the air” the context being under Satan’s power and rule, “as you were all formally under.” But Jesus is also described as a Prince in Acts 3:15 and 5:31.
    3. Satan’s influence affected one third of the “stars of heaven” to follow him, 1/3 being the lesser of the whole, for the majority of God’s angels were faithful.
    4. We see that the dragon’s waiting for the birth of the child that he may devour Him.This devouring is a picture of Satan who is ever vigilant, waiting for opportunities to crush the Christian church.This verse speaks to that “enmity” that God Himself had put between the serpent and his offspring and the woman and her offspring back in Genesis 3. The “bruising of the heel” is not only seen in Christ as the offspring, His suffering, great persecutions, and death. It is also seen in all of His offspring, who are “born of God". Jesus said “if they hated me, they will hate you.” But who are Satan’s “offspring”? In John’s first Epistle chapter 3 we are given the answer as to who are Satan’s offspring, and who are characterized as being “the children of God”. Cain is mentioned by name as an offspring of “the evil one”, because he lay in wait, as Satan does, and murdered his brother Abel. But, in spite of the opposition of enemies, we see in the sign of the woman that Christ, through His church brought forth seed of true and faithful professors.
    5. CAN YOU THINK OF OTHER EXAMPLES IN THE BIBLE OR HISTORY WHEN SATAN SOUGHT TO DESTROY THE CHURCH, OR THE CHRIST?
      • Cain killed his brother Abel, but God appointed another offspring.
      • Pharaoh ordered all Hebrew new born males to be killed out of the womb.
      • Herod ordered all males two and younger to be killed in Bethlehem.






    Rev. 12:5-6 - 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. 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.
    • John mentions three times throughout Revelation about the ‘One who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.” This line is taken from Psalm 2 which begins with David asking the question “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and council together in opposition to God’s Anointed king. They are seeking to remove God and His Anointed from power! But God laughs at them, mocking them, and says that He has already placed His Anointed One on Zion, His holy mountain and He shall rule with a rod of iron, dashing to pieces all the nations who would seek to usurp His dominion. If we look at chapter 14 it begins with the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, where the kingdom of man has become the kingdom of God!
    • Christ has come alongside His church and is greatly persecuted with her.But far from being defeated, Jesus completes all the required work and redeems His bride, the church, with His blood.He then triumphantly ascends into Heaven where He is exalted above all and is seated upon His throne.
    • The last words that Jesus conveys to his disciples are “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Then He is taken up out of their sight. Now picture this in your mind as God’s word gives us a glimpse of what takes place out of their sight.
    • In Daniel 7:13-14 we read: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed”. What a glorious confirmation to the faithfulness and truthfulness of God’s Sovereign will, who declares the end from the beginning!
    • After His ascension, we see in this passage that the woman fled into the wilderness.The wilderness typically represents a place of wandering, or exposure to danger, as the Israelites experienced during the Exodus years. But it was in this place of desolation that the Israelites were utterly dependent upon The Lord. The Lord went ahead of the Israelites into the wilderness where they too were cared for and provided for. Moses reminded the people that in all their time in the wilderness the “souls of their shoes did neither ware off nor the clothes off their back.” But that God has been with them through the wilderness! Elijah is another example of one who went into the wilderness during a time of great persecution by Jezebel, where he was nourished and refreshed by a ministering angel. During Israel’s most trying time in the Babylonian exile God commanded Jeremiah to write a letter to send to the exiles and told them while they were waiting for the appointed time of God’s visit they were to engage in life. They were to work in the fields they were to marry and raise children and that in “Babylon” they would find their welfare. Jesus was brought out to the wilderness by The Holy Spirit where He was tested. But even our Lord did not depend on His own strength, but entrusted Himself to the Spirit who led Him out, and the ministering angels who refreshed Him. After Christ’s ascension, the church also experiences a type of wilderness that moves the Gospel, and the church’s “Great Commission" into that wilderness. Preaching the Gospel was to begin in Jerusalem, then into Samaria and Judea and finally, to the ends of the earth. With Stephen, who was the first martyr of the early Christian church, we see the majority of Christians "fleeing" beginning the next phase of Jesus' Great Commission. I think we can see this as "the woman" fleeing into the wilderness! But God will provide protection and the spiritual nourishment in that "wilderness" which is the whole world!
    • The number of days, 1260 and 42 months and the phrase "time and times and half a times" (or 3.5 years) signify the entire time the church remains in the wilderness engaging the world in the preaching of the Gospel while under great persecution, from Christ's ascension to His second coming. John was told to write down what he sees and what he sees is symbolic and so also are the numbers symbolic. Would God then cut off that provisional protection and spiritual nourishment after the 1260 days if these were literal days? Jesus' last words to his disciples and by way of extension to all who are His, "lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt. 28:20)







    Rev. 12:7-9 - And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
    1. War between the Light & the darkness.

    “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”
    • The attempts of the dragon proved unsuccessful against the church, and fatal to his own interests. The seat of this war was in heaven; in the church of Christ, the kingdom of heaven on earth. The parties were Christ, the great Angel of the covenant, Michael – whose name means “Who is like God”, and his faithful followers; and Satan who wants to be like God and his angels. The great tempting in the garden were the words “you will be like God”!!!
    • The strength of the church is in having the Lord Jesus for the Captain of their salvation.
    • Until Christ’s atoning work for justification, Satan was allowed to enter into God’s presence. What are some places in Scripture where we see Satan coming into the presence of God? (Job 1:6;2:2; Zech.3:1)When Jesus sends out the 72 Satan sees an opportunity to strike at Jesus’ flock because The Good Shepard is “not” with them. Is The Good Shepard required in any case to be bodily present to protect His flock? The 72 were joyous because the evil spirits were subject to them Jesus said “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Lk.10:18; Jn. 12:31)
    • God will no longer hear the accusations of Satan towards the elect. The “…one who accuses the brethren day and night…”
    • Jesus ascends on high, He is our advocate (1Jn.2:1). The elect are justified. (Rm.8:34; Jude 9)
    • Turn to Genesis 3:15: The “serpent of old” reminds us again of the serpent in the garden. Looking at Genesis 3:15, we read that Satan’s head is crushed, BEFORE, the seed of the woman’s heel is bruised, signifying that God is the victor but He declares the victory from the beginning, before it takes place.
    • This verse comes in answer to the great Red Dragon.His seven heads are no match for the salvation the LORD brings, his ten horns to rule are no match to the true power and victory that belong to the LORD, the seven diadems on the heads of the dragon are destroyed and the true ruler of the kingdom is God, through His Son Jesus Christ.All the red dragon possesses is temporary, but the Lord’s authority is eternal.


    Rev. 12:10-14 - :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. 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. 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.’ And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 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.”






    1. The Great Commission given to the Church by the Savior.

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations”
    • This verse celebrates the coronation of Jesus Christ, the One who was “caught up to God and to His throne” in verse five.
    • All those "righteous" requirements are fulfilled in Him and the redeeming price, His blood, is paid. He has "come" with salvation belonging to Him, and power, a kingdom with no end, with all authority given to Him by the Father.
    • In this verse we are told that the servants of God overcame Satan in three ways:
      • By the blood of the Lamb, as the cause.
      • By the word of their testimony: the powerful preaching of the gospel is mighty, through God, to pull down strong holds.
      • By their courage and patience in sufferings: they loved not their lives so well but they could lay them down in Christ's cause.
    • These were the warriors and the weapons by which Christianity overthrew the power of pagan idolatry in the early church, and it is no different today.The call to all believers is the Great Commission – to go and make disciples of all men.To reiterate what we’ve already talked about, we are called to go out into the wilderness, but there is protection there.It requires full reliance on the LORD in all humility.The redeemed overcome the power of the Prince of the Air, by a simple reliance on the blood of Christ, as the only ground of their hopes. In this we must be like them.
    • The overcomers also remind us of the promise given to the seven churches in Revelation 2 where Jesus says that great rewards of various kinds will be given to those who overcome.But, we do not overcome Satan by anything we do, rather by what Jesus has already accomplished for our sake!
    • "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has no hold on Me.” (Jn.14:30) Jesus here prophesies what we have just read in verse twelve. But The Lord will not abandon His church or His bride!
    • How then are we to interpret the woe the LORD proclaims on the earth and the sea?We should not consider this “woe” at all as a judgment of God for ill towards His elect. Heaven rejoices simply because believers have endured from the beginning “the one who accuses our brethren day and night” in heaven before God and His throne. But we must now endure.
    • “Nourished for a time and…” describes the entire duration that the church must endure persecution in the world from Christ’s ascension to His final coming.
    • The question that may arise is why?Why must we endure?In His high priestly prayer, Jesus said to the Father: “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” (Jn.17:15) In our human nature, we want to see justice delivered swiftly.
    • The justice due to Satan and his minions is being delayed for the sake of those lost sheep who have not yet been brought into the fold.The LORD is providing the time for His Great Commission to continue to go out, until the last member of the universal church is redeemed.It is hard to witness the horrors of evil in this world, and as we have heard about throughout history.This goes back to the symbol of the woman in the pain of labor.As we’ve already spoken about, throughout time, the LORD has used the persecution of the church to spread the Gospel, to refine His children, and to deliver souls from the kingdom of Satan, into the kingdom of God.








    Rev. 12:15-17 - 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. 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. 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.
    1. The Church and its Great Commission endure persecution by Satan.

    “Do not fear what you are about to suffer”
    • Notice John now using the original name given to the “dragon”. The use of the term “serpent” here, reminds the reader of the serpent in the Garden who was “more crafty” then any other beast, who spoke deceptive words to Eve, who fell for Satan’s lie. A “flood” of deception poured out of his mouth. We see this again during the early stages of the church in Acts.The Epistles were written to encourage and warn the church of God against heresies and false worship of all kinds. In fact, the entire New Testament is full of warnings and instruction in combating the flood of lies that spew forth from the serpent’s mouth! By God’s grace the church is delivered from this “flood” and cannot be “swept away”. She will not be deceived as our first parents were, and for this we should regularly praise the LORD!
    • Victory is accomplished by God and His Christ. Satan has been defeated with every attempt to destroy Christ and His church, and will continue to be thwarted throughout the churches remaining time in her “wilderness wonderings”, or her time in the “great Babylon”, the world!
    • When Satan fails to destroy the Savior, he turns his wrath on the church (the Lord’s precious Bride) and its Great Commission. The devil, defeated in his designs upon the church, turns his rage against persons and places. Being faithful to God and Christ, in doctrine, worship, and practice, exposes to the rage of Satan; and will do so till the last enemy shall be destroyed. This is death!
    • The scene begins to grow fiercer here as the dragon “goes off to make war with the rest of her children.” This war continues in our day and until Christ’s final return.Originally, the Gospel had remained largely within the borders of Israel; it would not be necessary for Satan and his angels to employ any greater means to hamper or seek to stop the spread of the Gospel. But once Jesus gave the Great Commission: “Go therefore making disciples of all the nations” Satan would have to employ greater means to stop the Good News from spreading!
    • In chapter 13 we see the “raising” of the “beast” whose aim is to torment believers and destroy the church.

    Last edited by Jason T V; 07-06-2015, 06:11 PM.

  • #2
    An alternate reading...

    The symbolic woman in Rev.12:1-5 is about Israel.

    Gen.37 with Joseph's two dreams explains the twelve stars, the sun, and moon symbols used in Rev.12. It's about the 'seed of the woman'.

    Rev.12:1-5 is a compressed summary, from Genesis to end of Revelation. It covers the matter about Satan's rebellion of old with his angels, and Christ being born through the symbolic woman, with Christ's future reign as King.

    Rev.12:6 involves prophecy for the end of this world just prior to Christ's return, linked to times given in the Book of Daniel.

    Rev.12:7-17 are also about events to occur in the last days just prior to Christ's second coming. The symbolic terms "serpent" and "dragon" are simply other titles for Satan himself (Rev.12:9), so that's a huge... revelation our Lord Jesus gave us through His Apostle John.

    The woman towards the end of Rev.12 is about believing Israel and believing Gentiles together as the Body of Christ who will make a stand through the "great tribulation" events our Lord Jesus gave us in His Word in both the Old Testament books and New Testament books.
    Comment>

    • #3
      GINOLJC to all. not saying that any are right, or wrong, but consider this. the woman is Judah, (the Church in the O.T. covenant). now this next section of scripture I have a different belief about. it
      Originally posted by Jason T V View Post
      Rev. 12: 3-4 - 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. 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.
      #1. the red dragon is symbolic of king Herod. red in the bible is symbolic of blood. Herod killed the babies of two years and under trying to kill the infant Jesus. and he is a devour just like his daddy the devil, hence the title dragon, for a dragon "DEVOURS" his prey, quick to kill. he even killed his own family members if he thought they tried to take his throne. king Herod was a bloody/red dragon/devour.. all of this is symbolism. now the third of stars that was gathered. if one would keep one hand on Rev 12 and the other on Matthews chapter 2 it's the same story of events. the stars in chapter 12 are not angels.. stars are symbolic of messengers. and a messengers can be angelic, or human, just read in Jude about wandering stars who are false teachers, (humans). now to the 3'rd. of stars. scripture, Matthew 2:4 "And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born". 1st of the third, chief priests. 2nd of the third, scribes. last the 3rd of thirds, Matthew 2:7 "Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared". the 3rd of thirds the wise men. so, 1/3 chief priests, 2/3 scribes, and 3/3 the wise men. the word "gathered", in Matthews 2:4 have the same meaning of "drew" with his tail in Rev 12:4. these are the same events.
      May God Bless.
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by G101 View Post
        #1. the red dragon is symbolic of king Herod.
        How imaginative but completely wrong. The text clearly identifies the dragon as "that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan" in verse 9.
        Last edited by Origen; 05-24-2016, 07:25 AM.
        Comment>

        • #5
          GINOLJC,
          Originally posted by Origen View Post
          How imaginative but completely wrong. The text clearly identifies the dragon as that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan in verse 9.
          . ERROR on your part. the devil is called a roaring lion, but he's not a cat. the devil is called a serpent, he's not a snake. the devil is called Dragon, he's not a reptile. understand, roaring Lion, snake, dragon, all these titles are describing his character, or characteristics. as serpent he is subtil as in genesis chapter 3. as dragon he is a carnivore, he's a destroyer, 1 Cor 10:10. as a lion he is killer, seeking those whom he can devour, see 1 peter 5:8 . this is descriptive language, symbolic. and yes no only did king Herod show these same characteristics of his daddy the devil, some church folk too, scripture, Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another". (smile).
          .
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by G101 View Post
            GINOLJC, . ERROR on your part. the devil is called a roaring lion, but he's not a cat. the devil is called a serpent, he's not a snake. the devil is called Dragon, he's not a reptile.
            I do not know if you are blind or simply foolish. The text states: "that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan." Thus the dragon is identified as Satan, not Herod. Hence your claim it is Herod is clearly false according to John. If you goal is to completely ignore what the text say, you have done a excellent job.
            Last edited by Origen; 05-24-2016, 08:16 AM.
            Comment>
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