After learning about the seven trumpets in Chapters 8, 9,10, and 11, we are now going to take a look at a chapter that is going to span the from the First Earth Age through to the Millennium. That is a long time for one chapter, but it kind of sums up the entirety of God’s plan in a nutshell.
(Rev 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:
This woman represents the House of Israel (including Judah), those who are faithful to God, and she has God’s protection and she has the ability (in God’s power) to walk all over satan, always represented by the moon. Of course, that means that the 12 stars are the 12 patriarchal children of Jacob (Israel).
(Rev 12:2) And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Since the beginning of time, God had His plan in place for this world as a preparation for when one of His children would rebel and lead the rest of His children astray. This former child of God is satan, once known as Lucifer. In the time of satan’s rebellion, God had His faithful warriors who refused to go astray, and those servants of God would receive special roles on earth, in their flesh bodies.
This woman represents both the wife of Israel, and the Virgin Mary, on different levels. The faithful servants of God were waiting to be born on earth to help to fight the evil of satan, but also God was waiting for the right time to be born in the flesh as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
(Rev 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.
This is the beginning of a separate vision given to John. We are given the description of a beast and, at first, it may seem to resemble the beast that we will be given in the next chapter, 13, however, you’ll notice that that beast has seven heads, ten horns and ten crowns upon his heads, whereas this beast has only seven crowns upon his heads. The reason for this is that this is simply not the same beast. The beast in chapter 13 appears during the tribulation, but this beast was one that satan put in place in the first earth age, during his rebellion. Satan established a system of governance that he used to try to lead people away from God, to follow himself instead.
He wanted to be worshiped and thought he was greater than God because he took pride in how he was made more beautiful and more powerful than the rest of God’s children, and he became arrogant. This pride and arrogance has led to his downfall, just as it can for anyone.
(Isa 14:3-20) And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
We won’t take the time to really discuss all the verses in the above excerpt in particular, which we will do at a later time, but I wanted to simply point out some of what was written about the exploits of satan, once called Lucifer, when he was actually a servant of God. Also, if you want to read more about the history of satan, check out Ezekiel 28.
Since making this transition to an adversary of God, satan has been focusing his every effort on trying to lead God’s children away from Him, whether through deception, or through coercion–it doesn’t really matter to him which one. During his rebellion, in the first earth age, before the foundation of this current earth age, described in Genesis 1, he succeeded in both convincing many of God’s angels to leave His camp, and in deceiving many more.
(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.
The “tail” of this dragon, the old serpent, led one of three distinct categories of God’s children from Him. This one group chose to follow him by free will, knowing exactly what they were doing in leaving the side of God. And, in the blink of an eye (for God), after He had recreated the earth (to test who His children would follow, when born into a world without memories of the world that was), and flesh man had been here for a matter of thousands of years, God prepared to also enter the flesh Himself to experience life in the body of a man, albeit a perfect man, as Jesus Christ, detailed in Hebrews 2.
(Rev 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.
After satan’s rebellion, God recreated the earth so that we all could be born into flesh bodies, without memory of the world that was, and as part of this plan, God chose to also put Himself into one of these bodies, to be born in the flesh, in order to experience, first hand, what we know so well. He did this both so that He would feel what we feel, and because He would not put us through something He was not also willing to do Himself (Hebrews 2). Of course, we are talking about Jesus Christ, and it is through Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ only, that all salvation is possible and available to us. This just gives us another reason to respect and love God.
Satan knew, as did we all before we were born on earth, that God would be doing this, so he was prepared to come and interfere with this plan by trying to take down as many of God’s children as he could by leading us away from God.
This woman, here, is Mary, on one level, but more importantly she represents the children of Israel (not the nation, but God’s people, which now also includes any true Christian).
As most of us know, Jesus was ultimately crucified, and then He rose up to Heaven after 3 days, where He took His throne as our Lord and Savior.
(Rev 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.
Some time after Jesus was crucified, in this last generation, the children of Israel (those who remain faithful to God), are to be called the elect, will be wandering through the wilderness much like the children of Israel led by Moses. This wilderness is the tribulation, but God will protect and feed His faithful, just like in the story of Exodus. We are given the time period, here, of 1260 days, which is the pre-shortened length of each half of the tribulation, and this is to point out that we are talking about just that (read Revelation 11).
(Rev 12:7) And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
We read, in Revelation 9, about the fallen angels being released, at which point a war in Heaven ensues between God’s angels and satan’s fallen angels. Of course, as we are told elsewhere, this dragon is satan himself.
(Rev 12:8) And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
However, the good guys always win, and satan and his army cannot defeat God and His, at which point the rebels are cast down to earth for the final phase of the tribulation.
(Rev 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.
(Rev 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.
Satan, the adversary, is also known as the accuser. He spends all of his time trying to get God’s children in trouble, like an immature sibling (remember that satan was once a child of God as well, and therefore a brother). Now he is coming to earth to wreak havoc and he’ll pull no stops to accomplish his goals. Anything goes with him, as he is the most self-centered being in the universe. But, also remember, God is always in control, and satan has limits to what he is able and allowed to do (just like in the story of Job).
(Rev 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.
We are given the end of the story, and we know that the ending is a happy one. But, there is a lot we must go through before we get there. We are not approaching the true end, at this point, but it is the end of an era, an evil period of time when satan pretty much has his way with those who aren’t wearing the Gospel Armor (Ephesians 6).
(Rev 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.
Even the angels of Heaven pity those on earth for what we are about to go through, as we are told this will be a time of trouble never seen on earth. God has mercy on His faithful, and satan won’t be here indefinitely. He has a relatively short time to accomplish what he wants to do, for which we will be given much greater detail in the next chapter, 13.
(Rev 12:13) And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
His goal on earth, as antichrist, is not only to win over the hearts of every person on earth, but he is especially focused on God’s elect, but the elect have a form of protection known as the Seal of God (Revelation 7), but this won’t stop satan from trying. This Seal is not something on the outside, but something that protects our soul, and he will make sure that he does not miss an opportunity to sway every single person who will allow him a place in his or her heart.
(Rev 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 the great eagle are the protection of God, and all of those who stand with Him receive His protection. In this verse, we are given the 1260-day pre-shortened half-tribulation in years–three and a half years (1 time + 2 times + 1/2 time=3 1/2).
(Rev 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.
While satan is physically here on earth in this second half hour of temptation, we will need to remain in our Ark of Truth to wait out the flood of his lies that comes from the mouth of satan. If you don’t reside within this ark, you might be carried away, just like in the time of Noah. How do you enter into this ark? By sincerely accepting Jesus, which means you will also study His Word, and you will begin to understand and know the truth of God from His Word in the Bible. The ark is “pitched” and “sealed” with this Seal of God given by the Holy Spirit (read Genesis 6-8), and this keeps the ark afloat.
(Rev 12:16) 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.
(Rev 12:17) 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.
Because he cannot harm those within this symbolic, spiritual ark, satan grows very angry and he will kill the two witnesses, as we read in chapter 11, and will round God’s elect up wanting to kill them in the battle of Armageddon, which we will discuss more in other articles.
Don’t worry, the moral of the story is to put on the Gospel Armor, earn the Seal of God, and reside within the Ark of Truth, and you will be able to withstand the Flood of Lies from satan’s mouth, when he is on earth in person, as antichrist. The time is near!