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The Book of Revelation

Chapter 12

The Woman and the Dragon - Revelation 12:1-17

Rev. 12:1-2 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: [2] And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. (KJV) Then John witnessed a great event in Heaven. He saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. The woman was with child, and she cried out in the pain of labor as she awaited her delivery.

The 7th trumpet (Rev.11:15) opens the Bowl judgments (Rev.15:1- 16:21), but in chapters 12-14, John is shown war between God and Satan. John SEES the source of all sin, evil, persecution and suffering on Earth, and he understands WHY this great battle must take place. The nature of evil is disclosed; Satan is shown in all his wickedness. A “woman” is often used a symbol of religion. Jezebel represents paganism and idolatry (Rev.2:20; 1 K.16:31), the “harlot” false religion (Rev.ch.17). The Bride of Christ represents the TRUE church. WHO is this “woman” in these verses? Some say it is the virgin Mary, others say it is the church. I disagree. The symbolism (sun, moon, starts) gives us a very good clue. There is only one other place in God’s Word that similar imagery is used, and that is in Joseph’s dream (Gen.37:9-11). That referred to Israel, and these verses do as well. This woman here is pictured as being with child, and being in constant pain, awaiting the birth. This is a picture of Israel, from the call of Abram to the birth of Christ. The woman here is Israel!

Rev. 12:3-4 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. [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. (KJV) Then John witnessed another significant event. He saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. The dragon's tail dragged down one-third of the stars, which he threw to the Earth. He stood before the woman as she was about to give birth to her child, ready to devour the baby as soon as it was born.

John sees a “great red dragon” (not literal). Verse 9 tells us this is Satan! He is “great” because of his tremendous power. “Red” is because he is a murderer. “Dragon” is because of his character. The “stars” he drew down from Heaven are the angels who decided to follow Satan. God cast them out of His Presence because of their open rebellion against Him (Jude 1:6; 2 Pet.2:4; Dan.8:10). “Seven heads” symbolizes Satan’s wisdom (Eze.28:12). “Ten horns” suggests the revived Roman Empire which Antichrist will control (Dan.7:7,20). “Seven crowns” symbolize Satan’s rule over the entire world. The “woman” delivers a “child” (Jesus). At His birth, Satan sent Herod to “devour her child” but God stepped in (Mat.2:13-23) and stopped him.

Rev. 12:5-6 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. [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. (KJV)
She gave birth to a male childs who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And the child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to give her care for 1,260 days.

The “woman” (Israel) flees to a place prepared by God for her; some say possibly Sela (Isa.16:1-4). During the most intense part of the Tribulation period, this remnant will be well protected by God in this place (Mat.24:16). I don’t know where this hiding place is, but it is there. To us, it really does not matter where it is, only that it does exist and that Israel shall go there at this time.

Rev. 12:7-9 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, [8] And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. [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. (KJV) Then John saw war in heaven. Michael and the angels under his command fought the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle and was forced out of heaven. This great dragon . . . the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world . . . was thrown down to the Earth with all his angels.

War in heaven?? When most people think of Heaven, they think of where God and His Throne are, this being the 3rd Heaven (Deut.10:14; 2 Cor.12:2). So, if where God is, is the 3rd Heaven, where are the other two? The first heaven is the air above and around us (Gen.7:3,23). The second heaven is where the sun, moon and stars are (Deut.17:3; Mat.24:29). Personally I do not think this actual war will occur in the place where Almighty God resides. Satan is called the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph.2:2). This war will most likely take place in the atmosphere of air, and Satan will lose the battle, and be cast to Earth with all his cohorts. So, how can a war be fought in the air? We must consider that those fighting will be angels. These superior beings are many, “thousand thousands” (Dan.7:10; Mat.26:53; Luke 2:13). There are GOOD angels (those loyal to God), and there are BAD angels (those who rebelled against God). Angels are spiritual beings (Heb.1:14), so there will be no problem fighting in the air. Angels are angels! Angels are NOT people who die and go to Heaven, as some TV shows falsely proclaim. God created angels, and God created people. They are two entirely different creations! People will NEVER become angels, ever! But Jesus does state that we (God’s children) shall be “as the angels” NOT angels, but like them in the respect that we will not marry or be given in marriage when we get to Heaven (Mat.22:30).

We should fear Satan like we would fear a lion or a deadly snake; but what we should fear even more is the fact that he is a beautiful angel! Satan is one of God’s most beautiful creations, and he traps millions today by disguising himself as an “angel of light” (2 Cor.11:13-15). He deceives people with his apparent beauty, while all along he is a snake in the grass!

Rev. 12:10-12 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. [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. [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. (KJV) Then John heard a loud voice in heaven, "The salvation and power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ has come! The Accuser has been thrown down to Earth . . . the one who accused our brothers and sisters before our God day and night. And they have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony for Jesus. They were not afraid to die. Rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the Earth and the sea. For the devil has come down to you in great anger, and he knows that he has a short time left.

When Satan is cast down to Earth, evil activities of every kind will greatly increase. This is the beginning of the 3rd woe. The devil realizes he has but a very short time, and his unholy wrath will make life unbearable for all those who turn to Christ.

Believers at that time can have victory:

  • (1) By the Blood of the Lamb, not only are we forgiven of our sin, but Satan is defeated too.
  • (2) By the word of their testimony, revealing they will not deny Christ no matter what.
  • (3) They loved not their lives unto the death, they will know that taking a stand for Jesus probably will end in their death.

We may think living life for Christ is hard now; but in that time (the Great Tribulation), it will almost always end in physical death. Their only consolation is they will KNOW that they have eternal life in Heaven waiting for them, just as we know it today . . . except today’s road is a lot easier than then!

Rev. 12:13-14 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. [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. (KJV) And when the dragon realized that he had been thrown out of heaven, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the child. But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle. This enabled her to fly to a place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.

Satan now brings the war back to Earth. Because his attempt to destroy Jesus was unsuccessful; Satan now turns on the “woman” (Israel) with a vengeance. Any and all anti-Semitism (hatred of the Jews) is the result of the devil! From the brickyards in Egypt where Pharaoh kept the Jews slaves, to the gallows of Haman (Book of Esther), to Hitler’s savage murders of millions of Jews; the devil was leading people to hate the Jews. He has not let up even in today’s time, with so-called white supremacist groups, nor will he. Satan hates Israel because she is responsible for Jesus’ coming in the flesh (as Man), and she is symbolic of the worship of God which he despises. He wants people to worship him, NOT God! He will lead people away from God and Christ any way he can.

Two wings of a great eagle is symbolic of God’s grace in delivering Israel in the past (Ex.19:4). God safely carries Israel to her hiding place in the wilderness. Where she is nourished reminds us of the past when God provided manna from Heaven and water from a rock!

Rev. 12:15-16 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. [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. (KJV) Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood that flowed from his mouth. But the Earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon.

Because the wilderness is literal (actually is), the water could be also. But it could also be armies, as symbolized by waters in Isaiah 8:7-8. Satan will use every means possible to destroy Israel. NO nation can stop him. Only God can do that! Ezekiel 38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. [KJV] Satan’s power is but a drop in the ocean compared to God’s power! Whose side are you on?

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. (KJV) Then the dragon was furious with the woman, and he declared war against the rest of her children . . . meaning all who keep God's commandments and confess that they belong to Jesus.

Jews who turn to Jesus (the Messiah), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ will be Satan’s particular prey, singled out for intense persecution and destruction. This will be a time of great horror and agony, like no other in the history of the world as told by Jesus. Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [KJV] Please believe this!

The remnant of her seed may refer to the 144,000 who have been sealed (Ch.7). These are most likely scattered throughout the world, bringing the Gospel to lost souls. The ones who witness, will most certainly bring others to Jesus; and they too will be in extreme danger.

Chapter 12 is an addition to the explanation of future events, reaching back to the days of Christ, and forward into the Great Tribulation. It gives us a clear cut view of Satan’s deceitful and evil character, and his cunning and wicked activity. Each and every person should be on guard against Satan’s conniving and crafty ways to lure people to himself. Satan is indeed literal! He is real! Don’t let anyone talk you into thinking there is no devil! This Book should more than prove that there is an actual devil, and he is determined to destroy anyone who takes a stand for Jesus in this world. But, rest assured, God is MUCH greater than the old devil. 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (KJV)

Satan is in charge of ALL false prophets and false teachers who tell you that there are ‘other’ ways to Heaven besides Jesus. Do NOT listen to these people! Jesus is the ONLY Way! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) God the Father is in Heaven. IF you want to go where He is (Heaven), you MUST go through Jesus! There is NO other way! Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. [KJV] The Bible is very clear on this!

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (KJV) Be very careful! Watch out for attacks from Satan. He is your worst enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for a victim to devour. Don’t fall for his lies.

Book of Revelation

Ch.1. . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5. . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Ch.15 . . Ch.16 . . Ch.`17 . . Ch.18 . . Ch.19 . . Ch.20 . . Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Special Comments

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