Questions to ask in Revelation Twelve:
The Woman, Israel
12 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.
The Red Dragon, Satan
3 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. 4 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.
The Male Child, Christ
5 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. 6 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.
The Angel, Michael
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 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. 10 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. 11 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. 12 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.”
13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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.
- What does this portion of Scripture reveal about Jesus? – From the very beginning, Satan has wanted to destroy the child, but Jesus has been protected, removed from danger.
- What does this portion of Scripture reveal about the church? They are accused day and night.
- What does this portion of Scripture reveal about the world? It will be the stage for the final drama where Satan will lose his battle to become like God.
- What does this portion of Scripture reveal about the Evil One? It says he is like a dragon, not that he is a dragon. The great dragon was “the serpent of old” and called “the devil and Satan”. He is a deceiver of the entire world, devil at its root is a slanderer. He knows he only has a limited time left to wreak havoc. He desired to devour the child but was not permitted so now he persecutes the woman. Satan accuses the believers before God and Satan accuses God before believers. Satan desires with all his twisted being to make God a liar, either through the destruction of Israel or the separation of God’s promise towards His children. He fails to accomplish what he wants when what he wants is in opposition to God’s plan. Also, conflicts between angels and demons is a reality – and the demons lose.
- Can you see Christ’s Mercy towards humanity in the passage? This is the time of our salvation. This is when Satan will no longer stand before God making his case about the reasons why God should break His promise towards His children.
- Can you see Christ’s judgment of disobedience? There comes a time when the great deceiver is no longer permitted to remain in heaven, and is tossed to the earth for his final wave of deceit.
Even though Satan is tossed out of heaven, his energy to destroy those who have allegiance to God is not diminished. He can no longer destroy the believers in God’s eyes, so he pursues the believers to destroy them, no doubt in an effort to restrict their message to others. Remember, this is post rapture, even though he did this prior to the rapture, the intensity of the efforts is multiplied when the boss steps on the earth. He can’t touch Christ, and the church is gone, so his focus is Israel. But then Israel is given divine protection, so he turns to those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
- The Woman – a few views
- Does this represent the church – it’s obvious that this woman gave birth to a Male Child, who according to verse 5, will rule all the nations. The church did not give birth to Christ, but Christ gave birth to the church. Also, the church is not intended to run from the Evil one, but rather told that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
- Does this represent Mary – as per Catholic teaching? True that the child is from Mary, but it is hard to call the church her children as we read in verse 17, that Satan waged war against her children.
- The woman represents Israel – note the sun, moon and 12 stars. Think of the references in Genesis by Joseph. Israel is certainly the human origin of the humanity of the Christ child.
- The Dragon –
- This is also a picture, just as the woman was a picture of Israel, this is a picture of Satan. See verse 9 for specifics.
- The Dragon is red – the same color as one of the horses in Rev 6closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST' – the one who brought war and who removed peace from the planet.
- He has seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. Looking back at Daniel, we read that the seven heads represent kingdoms, and the ten horns are kings.
- He desires to destroy God’s plans in any way possible, either by the consumption of Christ or the persecution of Israel, or the destruction of the people of God. (Christians or Israel).
- Satan’s eviction from Heaven – Michael and his angels were waging war with Satan and his angels, and Michael wins. Note that this war happened in heaven and there are no believers engaged in this war.
- When Satan is evicted, he takes with him his angels, which is 1/3 of all the angels. In Rev 5:11closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST', we read that there is a “myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands”, which amounts to about 300 million. These are the ones who still rejoice over God’s rule. So IF the two thirds of angels that did not follow Satan amounts to 300 M, then the other 1/3 could equal 150 Million.
- The Male Child – Verse 5 explains that the child was born, then in the space of one short verse, was caught up in heaven. Hidden in the space of that sentence is the life of Christ. But this book is not about the life of Christ, it is about the unveiling of Christ, the revealing of who Christ really is. The question that haunts this passage is the passion of Satan to destroy the Jews and believers. There might be several reasons, but let me suggest that if Satan can succeed in killing every last Jew, he will prove God a liar. He will show that God cannot do what He promised to do, he would show that God could not protect Israel from Satan. Satan desires to prove that God is not in charge.
- The Angel – there is a war, and God’s side wins. Satan is kicked out of heaven and tossed (rather unceremoniously) to the earth. Notice that his role is primarily accusing the brethren before God. (Let me add, he doesn’t need us to join his team in accusing other.) How are the brethren successful in battling his accusations?
- They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and
- Satan is not overcome by holy water from the Jordan River or a heavenly gem dangling from a rear view mirror.
- The victory of the believer is not in binding Satan with some incantation or rebuking him with some magic prayer.
- They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and
- The victory is through and by means of the life-giving, blood-shedding sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who died to take away our sin.
- because of the word of their testimony, and
- We might read this and think it’s all up to me – but according to scholars, the emphasis is on the Word. Davey would translate this “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of God to which they have borne testimony”
- They did not love their life even when faced with death. – They were focused not on what this life holds, but like Christ, we set our hearts on the things above.