THE BOOK OF REVELATION
~ The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Revelation Chapter 12

 

The Woman — Israel

Verse 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:

In the Scriptures, “woman” is usually used to typify the “Church” or a “nation”. Figuratively and spiritually speaking, God has two “women” in His Life. The nation of Israel and the Church are both His “wives” (cf. Jer.3; 2 Cor.11:2). This great wonder of a woman beautifully decked with the sun, moon and stars is not the Bride (Church) of Christ. The Bride of Christ will have already been taken away in a secret Rapture into the Grand Marriage Supper of the Lamb after the Seven Thunders have come to utter their voices to her (Rev.10). This happens before the Two Witnesses appear on the scene in Israel (Rev.11). Inasmuch as the sun, moon and stars were shown in Joseph's dream concerning Israel's future, this woman decked with the sun, moon and stars is undoubtedly Israel. [Note: There are preachers who teach that the “crown of twelve stars” signify the New Testament Church with the doctrines of the Twelve Apostles. Furthermore they teach that the word “man child” in verses 5 and 13 speaks of “spiritual maturity” and represents the “overcomers” who are taken up in the Rapture. (“Man child” simply means “male child” or baby son.)  Such erroneous interpretations distort the true revelation which was given to John in this chapter.]

With the translation of the Wife of Christ into the Heaven, the Nation of Israel comes into prophetic view as God begins to deal with her. In this chapter we see Israel's glorious standing in God's eternal plan. Following the vision of the temple (in chapter 11) that will be built in the City of Jerusalem, this vision introduces the “woman” Israel as a nation in her future glorious kingdom position (“clothed with the sun”) when Christ shall sit in that temple in Jerusalem and reign over the earth for a thousand years — the Millennial Age of Regeneration (Matt.19:28). The nation of Israel was ordained to be in this position even before the foundation of the earth was laid. Israel had the “moon” under her feet; she had the Law and the Oracles of God which upheld her and which prophesied of her future glory — for the moon could only reflect the Light of the Glorious Sun (Sun of Righteousness, Son of God). But hidden in the Law and the Oracles was the “mystery of God” concerning the Gentile Church. The Apostle Paul was one of the first persons to understand this hidden mystery of the Gentiles being grafted into the Gospel (cf. Eph.2: 19-3:21; Col.1:25-28). He knew that when Israel rejected the Gospel God would allocate a period of time to unfold this “mystery” before turning back to Israel again (Rom.11 cf. Rev.10:7). And when Israel is restored to her position in the 'Kingdom Age', the Twelve Tribes of Israel would be the “crown” of the nation (“upon her head a crown of twelve stars”). In that position she will be the Nation of nations, so to speak. Read Isaiah chapters 11 and 65. The rest of the chapter portrays the process which the nation has to go through before she can actually attain her glorious kingdom position in the Millennial Age (cf. Acts 1:6).

The 144,000 Jewish servants, sealed in chapter 7, are an exclusive group out of the Nation of Israel to be sealed. John does not see them here as part of this Woman Israel though they are of Israel.

Verse 2:  And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

Israel was pregnant with child — a “man child”. This part of the vision points back to history when Israel was promised, by God through His prophets, a man child, a kinsman redeemer, who would be given to her for the salvation of her people. One of such great prophecies is found in the Book of Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (7:14). “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (9:6-7).

Israel received the Prophetic Word from God's mouth and she was pregnant with child. When the fullness of time was come, the child was born. And when the child grew and became of age, He was given as a son to Israel that “the government shall be upon his shoulder” and “of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever”. Amen. And that son is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Who is “called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”.

 

The Great Red Dragon — Satan and His Dominion

Verse 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.
Verse 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.

Who or what is this great red dragon?

We need to get into the whole panoramic view of this part of John's vision to see the true picture; otherwise, we may easily be misled, like some theologians are, into believing that the dragon types the Roman Empire, China or the Antichrist world.

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Even before Israel was born, Satan knew about God's promised seed of the woman who would triumph over him. This promised seed was first prophesied right after the Fall of Man (cf. Gen.3:15). A little later, when God called Abram, the revelation of the prophetic Word became more obvious. The Father of Israel prophesied and said: “God will provide Himself a lamb” (Gen.22:8). It was only after Israel was born that she began to receive the Prophetic Word concerning the Promised Seed, Who would become the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. But because of Israel's transgression the Law was added to keep her in the way until the Promise came (Gal.3:19). Soon she became pregnant by the Word and Satan sought to destroy the newborn.

Now, this vision of the “great red dragon” (Grk: “drakon”, a fabulous serpent) in the heaven speaks of Satan being the “great fiery bloody serpent” (Rev.12:9) whose every “enchanting” and “mesmerizing” action brings about death just like what he had done in the Garden of Eden. Before Mankind was created, Satan led a rebellion against his Creator and drew a third of the angelic beings to follow him in sin. Notice that the great red dragon has seven heads with a crown on each head, and ten horns. This speaks of Satan's power over “seven great kingdoms” through which he, as a spirit, would work to prevent God from carrying out His plan for Israel. These seven empires would be Israel's great enemies throughout history. And whatever affects Israel, the chosen people of God, will also affect the world.

[Note: In this chapter John is shown the great fallen angelic spirit (Lucifer-Satan-Devil) with the power to rule over seven different Gentile empires of the world until the Devil, in his last move, is incarnated in the Roman Pope to control the Beast system, which is shown in the 13th chapter where John sees Satan being “cast out” and “cast down”. Satan, who is already “cast out” of Heaven will be “cast down”, meaning, “the devil is come down” (cf. Rev.12:9-12) and will be “incarnated” as the Antichrist. Satan will then have direct rule within the system of the BEAST. The 7th head of the Beast that was “wounded unto death” (Rev.13:3) will be revived. And when all these come into fulfillment, then the Beast, in its seventh form, will also be “an eighth” and is said to be from the pit of hell (cf. Rev.17:8,11). This last great empire is coming into existence in our very day in a revised form and will incorporate ten nations (ten horns) which are evolving from within the old boundary of the 7th head. John receives more details about this future empire in the 17th chapter.]

Let us take a look at a little history. Man began his existence in the region of the Garden of Eden later known as Canaan, Palestine and Israel. The eyes of the whole world are now focused on this land. This is the land that God has given to Israel. The first superpower to conquer this region was Egypt. The Egyptian Empire was the first of the 7 Heads. Next was the Assyrians from the north. The Egyptians gave way to the Assyrians, the land-hungry monster. The Assyrian Empire collapsed when its capital, Nineveh, fell to the Babylonians in 526 B.C. However, the Babylonian Empire did not last very long. In 457 B.C., Cyrus of Persia took over the empire with little resistance. This Persian Empire was larger than all its predecessors. In 331 B.C., Alexander the Great overran it, thus increasing the size of the Grecian Empire. In a later vision (in chapter 17) when the angel told St. John that “five are fallen” he was referring to these five great kingdoms, or empires, which the great BEAST embodied. By John's time the Roman Empire had literally conquered the world including the five kingdoms. That was the sixth head, the “one is”, in John's time. The “other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” – the seventh and the last head, being also “an eighth” (Rev.17:11) – is the Papal Roman Empire, not the historical one but a revived and revised Roman Empire (evolved from the “ten horns” of the European Union) under the control of the Papal Church, the great whore (Rev.17:1-6). It is the most blasphemous empire that has ever existed. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth heads correspond to the four beasts which Daniel had seen in his vision as recorded in Daniel chapter 7. Daniel only saw four world empires in his “beasts” vision. Like the colossus which appeared in King Nebuchadnezzar's dream, they pointed to the future empires ahead of Daniel's time. However, the 'Seven-Head and Ten-Horn' Beast in John's vision pointed to both the past and the future — its beginning and its end. [Note: Daniel did not see the historical beasts, Egypt and Assyria, in his vision because visions usually show the prophetic future. He saw the four world empires beginning from his days. God has a plan for these two nations which are mentioned in Isaiah 19:19-25.]

[Note: The “horn”, “head” and “beast” refer to the man as the “ruler”, the “government”, and the “empire” (its system) respectively. They are inter-related and cannot be separated. Yet, a beast (empire) may not have a horn (ruler, king, emperor, etc.) but it certainly cannot do without a head (government) for the head controls the whole beast. A man within the head (administrative body, government) may assert his authority and seize power to become a ruler, or a dictator. Thus, in this way, he controls not only the head, but the whole beast. Like Louis XIV, who ruled France from 1643 to 1715, said, “I am France” (or “I am the state”). He was, therefore, the head of the beast. The head gives the beast its attributes, that is, its `ISM'. (Do remember that Satan has a devil working behind every `ism'.)  For example, Chairman Mao Zedong was the head and dictator of the modern Chinese Empire until his death in 1976. China is symbolised by the Chinese dragon. (But the “dragon” in this chapter of Revelation has nothing to do with China.)  Mao's ideology was communism. Hence, when he imposed his ideology upon the people, the empire – the beast – was communism. And because he ruled the empire at that time, he represented the beast, its system and all. He represented China. He was China. He possessed the power. He was the beast, the Chinese dragon.

Now, the true Church of God has a system. It is God's system. The spiritual Kingdom of God is the antithesis to the kingdom of the Beast.  The Holy Spirit embodies the Church. The ministers in the Five-fold Ministry are the officials in the administration of the Word. And Christ Jesus is the Head.]

Therefore, recognizing Israel's standing before God, the Great Serpent began to cause her to mess up her life in order to prevent her from getting into that place where the Man Child would be delivered. Through those different successive heads of the beast of the world (the Gentile kingdoms of the world) Satan forced Israel into slavery and oppression to try and prevent her from being pregnant with the Man Child. Satan was all out to destroy the Man Child. But by the time the Roman Empire appeared as the sixth head, God had already gotten Israel to her place of quiet rest and strength amidst the tumult of national unrest. And the fullness of time had also come for Israel to deliver the Man Child. Israel was in great travailing and pain to deliver the Man Child. And this was the time when the “great red dragon” in the Roman Empire “stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born”.

 

The Man Child — Yahshua

Verse 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.

Israel was to be a great nation with a great King “Who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (cf. Zech.14:9; Matt.2:2) but the great red dragon sought to prevent that from happening. Rome was as bloody red as the red cloaks of all its emperors. So, when Jesus was born, King Herod sought to kill Him by killing all the children who were two years old and under but God protected Jesus. Read Matthew 2. Of course, Satan did not quite understand everything that God was doing; neither did Israel, they rejected Him and the Romans crucified Him on Golgotha's Hill. The Son of God had not come just to be King over Israel but He had come to be their Kinsman Redeemer. That was the primary reason for His coming through a virgin birth. He bypassed the serpentine nature in the blood of sinful mankind in order to shed His sinless blood as a ransom for many. Upon accomplishing His redemptive work, Christ was caught up to God and to His Throne. He had overcome and had obtained the right to sit upon the Throne of God, His Holy Father (cf. Heb.12:2; Rev.22:1). And He gave a promise: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev.3:21).

“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. If Jesus Christ was to rule this earth, why then was He caught up into the Heaven? We can find the answer in the Book of Acts. Those early Jewish disciples were looking for a restoration of their kingdom. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:6-8).

So, we understand that God has allocated a time for the preaching of the Gospel to the world and that Christ must remain in Heaven until the time of the restoration of all things. “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:18-21). “The times of restitution of all things” will begin when Christ Jesus returns to earth with His glorified saints (the redeemed Church) at the end of the Great Tribulation. He will then sit on the Throne of David in the City of Jerusalem and rule the earth for 1,000 years as He renews the things of the earth (cf. Isa.9:7; Zech.14:9; Lk.1:32-33). It is called the Age of Regeneration (Matt.19:28). Hence, between verses 5 and 6 (of Revelation 12) is a period of about 2,000 years.

Verse 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.

One day the Woman Israel will have to flee from the dragon who, through the Antichrist, will seek to destroy her. That day will come right in the middle of Daniel's 70th Week after the Two Jewish Witnesses have prophesied for 1260 days or 3 years to seal in the 144,000 Jewish servants of God. The Antichrist will be Satan incarnate then, and he will kill the Two Witnesses and persecute Israel. But the Woman will know from the ministry of their two prophets when and how to flee to “a place prepared of God”. The Jewish men and women, old and young, including babies, who will flee to the place prepared of God in the wilderness, will be kept alive as an element of people for the Millennial Kingdom. They will multiply and form the nation of Israel. And the 144,000 will “feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” which is the second half of Daniel's 70th Week.

 

War In Heaven

Verse 7:  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Verse 8:  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Verse 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.

There was war in heaven way back in the days before Mankind was put on the earth. In the beginning when Satan was called Lucifer, he was the most beautiful and intelligent of all angels created. He was an archangel who was placed above all the other angels to have dominion over the creatures of the prehistoric earth. However when he sought to be like God, he sinned against God and caused a war to break out in heaven. Read Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:13-15. The archangel Michael and his angels fought against Satan and a third of those angels who followed after Satan. Satan lost the battle and, together with his angels, he was cast out of the heaven (abode) of God. They lost their estates in the heavenly places and became earth bound. They fell from heaven, so to speak (Lk.10:18). They no longer have direct access to God's Throne. Because of Satan's rebellion, God brought his kingdom to a halt. He froze the earth (Gen.1:2a). But the war is not over yet. Even now, Michael and his angels are still fighting against Satan and his angels. Because of this, Israel will survive and stand gallantly to go into the Millennial Age of Regeneration.

Yes, the war is still going on in (the second) heaven between Michael and the Devil because the Devil and his angels are yet to be cast down to the ground (cf. Ezek.28:17). Today, the Devil is embodied in a mass of religious people throughout the whole religious system. And particularly through the religious Roman system Satan continues his war against God. Satan is bringing all the denominations together under this Great Harlot umbrella and the Pope will be the head of that filthy thing. Satan is waging war against the Woman Israel because she is the nation that brought forth the Lord's Christ Who is God's provided way of salvation for mankind. He seeks to destroy her but she will not be destroyed. As the vision shows, she will be a glorious nation in the Millennial Age of Regeneration. Satan is fighting a losing battle.

Verse 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.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.

In the middle of the 70th Week the Devil, “the accuser of our brethren”, will ultimately be cast out and cast down onto the earth and he will incarnate in the Man of sin. This shows how the wretched fallen low down angel would go to great lengths in his evil unrepentant way to fight against God and His saints. Those in heaven will rejoice but those on earth will mourn “for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time”. Yes, Satan knows he has but 1290 days before he will be seized and chained up (cf. Dan.12:11; Rev.20:1-2). It will be a time of great darkness upon the earth and Israel will greatly feel its evil force. But Satan's extreme hatred for the people of God will be met with their willingness to sacrifice their own lives. The Foolish Virgins and the Faithful Jews will overcome him “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” respectively. The killing of those Faithful Jews as they serve their Yahweh will be the fulfillment of the second part of the Fifth Seal (Rev.6:11b). Amen. And when all these events come to pass, the “salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ” will be realized.

Verse 13:  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.

Yes, Satan is angry with Israel. Why? Because she brought forth the Man Child, the Lord's Christ, Who overcame his powerful hold over death and Who would give eternal life to all who believe on His Name.

It is not specifically mentioned where the woman Israel will flee to when facing the persecution of the Dragon. But, like the day of the great exodus from Egypt, by God's providence, she will be given “wings of a great eagle” – the message of God through the two prophets – to carry her away from the wrath of the Devil, and for 3 years (“a time, and times, and half a time”) the Woman Israel will be spiritually fed by the 144,000 Jewish servants of God who will preach the Everlasting Gospel (Rev.14:6). Before the Serpent could “cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman” (that is, order his army to destroy her) Israel would have the knowledge of the sign and the time to flee. In the year 70 A.D. when the Roman army encamped around Jerusalem to destroy it, the believers of God's Word fled from the siege when they recalled and remembered the prophecy spoken of by the Lord Jesus — “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto” (Lk.21:20-21). Likewise, Israel will flee when she witnesses the killing of God's Two Prophets before the Devil is cast down and incarnated in the Man of Sin.

Verse 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.

God's hiding place for the Woman Israel is not in an earthquake, which will swallow up the army of the Pope, but it will be certain nations of the world which will 'open wide' their arms to provide refuge for her. She will be in a “wilderness” (isolation) but she will be sustained spiritually. It happened during World War II that many Jews found safety in hiding places of certain nations and escaped from the armies of Hitler and Eichmann which were sent out to destroy them. Likewise, by the grace of God, certain nations of the earth will open their “mouth” to offer and provide asylum for Israel as she flees from the Papal army which seeks to destroy her. She will survive the persecution and go into the millennium of the Lord Jesus Christ, not as a people with glorified bodies but as a nation of natural people.

 

The Remnant of the Woman's Seed

Verse 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.

When Israel escapes from the hands of the Antichrist, the wrath of the Antichrist will then be directed at “the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”. But who are “the remnant of her seed”?

First, we need to know that the “seed” of the Woman is the Lord Jesus Christ given to Abraham by a promise of God. It is through this “seed” that the Gentiles become children of God and are made partakers of the new covenant which God made with Israel. Those who have the new birth are grafted into the Family of God and thus become a part of the commonwealth of Israel (Rom.11; Eph.2:11-17; 3:14-15). Second, notice that “the remnant of her seed” consists of two groups: those who “keep the commandments of God” are the Faithful Jews who hold to the Word of God, and those who “have the testimony of Jesus Christ” are the Christians, mainly the Foolish Virgins, who will miss the Rapture. The “remnant” will be thoroughly persecuted by the Dragon and be killed. This is the same group of tribulation saints that John saw in chapters 15 and 20:

“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” (Rev.15:2-4).

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev.20:4).

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