Many people find the book of Revelation hard to understand. This is true because the Apostle John used “Apocalyptic Writing” when he penned the book of Revelation. In this study I am going to discuss chapter 12 (The Woman and The Dragon) of the book of Revelation. Hopefully I can provide some understanding to this piece of scripture.
At the time John wrote the book of Revelation all of the disciples had been martyred and the Roman Emperor Domitian had ordered that John be executed by throwing him into a cauldron of boiling oil, but God intervened. God protected him, and kept him alive. Since he couldn’t kill him, Domitian had John exiled to the island of Patmos. The church was under heavy persecution, so many theologians believe John wrote the book of Revelation in Apocalyptic writing in order to get his message past the Romans and to the seven churches.
Now let’s take a look at these scriptures!
Revelation 12:1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.
The woman here stands for the nation of Israel. The sun and moon represents Joseph’s mother & father and the eleven stars represent Joseph’s brothers with himself being the 12th star. We see this in Genesis 37:9-10:
Genesis 37:9-109 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time thesun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”
From this family descended the nation of Israel as we know it today!
In the following verses 2-5 we read:
2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
We know that the Messiah Jesus Christ who will rule the nations with an iron scepter (Rev. 19:15) was born in Israel (Luke 2:4-7). We also know that the “dragon” represents satan and the stars represent a third of the angels that rebelled with satan against God (v7 names them as angels). When Jesus was born satan used King Harrod in an attempt to destroy him (Matthew 2:13-17), but God warned Joseph and he fled with Jesus to Egypt. Latter satan thought he was gaining victory over God by the death of Jesus on the cross, but he actually saw his own defeat as Jesus ascended into Heaven to the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). The seven heads represent Satan’s dominion over the 7 world empires:
- Future Revived Roman Empire. The 10 horns are placed on this Empire, based upon Daniel 7:23-25. The 10 horns are 10 kings which arise in the future (Dan. 7:24). This is the kingdom from which the Antichrist will arise and rule during the tribulation.
In verse 6 we read:
6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
Half way through the tribulation period (3 1/2 years….the beginning of the Great Tribulation) the anti christ is going to stand up in the temple and declare himself to be God thus causing the “Abomination That Causes Desolation” (Matthew 24:15). At this point many Jews will recognize Jesus to be the Messiah….God’s son and they will flee to a place which God has prepared for them. Many theologians believe this place to be Petra, Jordan because of Isaiah 63:1 where the Lord is shown coming from Bozrah, the region where Petra is located, having defeated His enemies there.
7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Even though satan was cast out of Heaven after rebelling against God, he still had access to God (Job 1:6). He is allowed into Heaven to stand before God as the accuser of man (Rev. 12:10). In V7 we see that God has had enough of it. War breaks out in Heaven between Michael & his Angels and satan & his angels. Satan & his angels loose and are cast out of Heaven and no longer are able to return or have access to God. We see this in more depth in the next verses:
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.”
Once satan is cast down and cut off from God he becomes enraged and knows his time is very short. In verses 16-17 we see satan attempts to take out his anger and the Jews:
13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman (Israel) who had given birth to the male child. (Jesus) 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of (the place God prepared for them…possibly Petra) for a time, times and half a time (3 1/2 years…the time of the Great Tribulation), out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (Emphasis Mine)
After the rapture of the Church prior to the beginning of the Tribulation Period (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), many people will realize God is real and that Jesus is our savior. They will come to Christ and receive salvation during the tribulation. They are often referred to as “Tribulation Saints”. As we see, since God protects the Jews it enrages the beast even more so he turns his attention to these Tribulation Saints who came to Christ after the Rapture of the church and seeks to destroy them. Being a Christian during the Tribulation Period will be a time of intense persecution and most will be martyred for their faith.
17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
The good news is that the raptured saints return with Jesus Christ to watch as he defeats satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet (Rev. 19:11-21 & Rev 20:1-3). This will usher in a 1,000 years of peace know as “The Millennial Kingdom” (Rev. 20:1-6).
Almost a full third of the Bible is prophecy! Every prophecy written in the Bible has been fulfilled exactly as foretold. The only prophecies left waiting for fulfillment are the ones concerning the end times and the return of Christ. Jesus gave us the signs that we should watch for concerning the Rapture of the Church and his return and commanded us to watch. Jesus wants us to know when his return is very near because he wants us to work with urgency in reaching the lost. It is not his will that anyone should suffer through the Tribulation period which will soon take place. If you and/or your loved ones have never given your life and heart to Christ, then time is of the essence! Reach out to the people you love! Call upon the name of the Lord for your salvation! You don’t want to be left behind when Jesus comes for the church. The tribulation period will be the worst time in all the history of the earth. Let today be the day of your salvation:
2 Corinthians 6:1 As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
All you have to do is humble yourself before Jesus. Ask him to forgive you of the sin you have committed against him in the past, and do your best each day not to sin against him anymore (repent). Ask to come into your life and heart and be your savior. Ask him to make you a new creation in him. Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation:
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
All it takes it to believe and confess Christ is Lord:
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Remember salvation is a gift of God! You could never be good enough or do enough to earn it:
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 2:9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Find a Bible believing church that adheres to the word of God as it is written in the Bible and get connected with other believers who can help you in your walk! Keep looking up….our Lord Jesus is coming soon! Amen!