Revelation

Chapter 12


    Chapter twelve is an extension of chapter eleven which represents a flashback to the time of Christ and deals with the birth of the Messiah or Jesus as the reigning King over the divine kingdom of God. This chapter tells us, not only how Christ's reign begins in heaven, but what the consequences of the beginning of His reign had on the earth.


Rev 12:1

A great and wondrous 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. (NIV)

    The woman here represents God's kingdom, which is why she's clothed with the sun, symbolizing the glory of the new heavens we can see. Just as the sun gives life to our planet, this symbolic woman is not only representative of all life in the universe but mainly life as it relates to the divine plan of God as He makes all things new.

Rev 21:5

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (KJV)

    This divine plan of God's kingdom is symbolized as a woman in this chapter, because women give birth and this chapter relates to the birth of the new heavenly kingdom with Christ taking control as its assigned ruler.

    That the moon is under her feet tells us she is over or above, the physical heavens and that the universe is subject to her commands.  The crown of twelve stars, as we shall soon see, represents the bride she has already chosen, for the royal son, she is about to deliver.

Rev 12:2

She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (NIV)

    That this is referring to the birth of Jesus on earth is clear because we know from Col 1:15 that "…Gods only begotten Son…" (John 3:16) was born before the universe was created.

Col 1:15

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (KJV)

    We also know the event being portrayed in the first two verses of this chapter concerns the earth, because of the next verse.

Rev 12: 3

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. (NIV)

    This symbolic dragon is identified by name in verse nine of this chapter… as Satan.  The seven heads represent seven world powers predicted in Daniel such as Persia, Greece, and Rome, to mention some.  The ten horns represent ten notable leaders of those world powers, which are also identifiable in Daniel.   Leaders most everyone recognizes in history such as Alexander the Great, Cleopatra and others.

Rev 12:4

His 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 he might devour her child the moment it was born. (NIV)

    Satan was originally created as an angel.  We have learned that stars in Revelation can represent any messenger of God… be they angel or man.   This verse above is telling us that when Satan rebelled against God he took with him one third of the angels of heaven.  The Bible refers to these angels that followed Satan, as demons.

    Angels like men were given the freedom of choice to follow God or not.  When man was tested in the Garden of Eden, so were the angels.  This chapter relates back to that test of the first pair of humans created by God, as well as the angels above them.  It does this through:

Gen 3:15

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

(NIV)

    This chapter now continues to give us information about God's heavenly kingdom using a symbolic woman as a wondrous sign that appeared in heaven.   Notice the symbolism of a woman, as the bride of Christ in Gen 3:15 is being used way back before anyone understood what the bride of Christ was all about.

Rev 12:5

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. (NIV)

    This symbolic male child of course is Jesus. The Christ Daniel spoke of in Dan 2:44 "The stone cut out of the mountain without human hand."

    As to the iron scepter He shall rule with… Isaiah explained this centuries before.

Isa 11:1-5

1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

2 And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

3 And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear;

4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist. (NAS)

    "…And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne" Christ ministered for three and a half years before the forces of Satan masqueraded as leaders of the Jews, such as the Scribes and the Pharisees, killed him.  Yet, one of the things that Christ was sent to do was to offer his own life as a blood sacrifice to ransom all of mankind from death.  Which was what God meant when He said in Gen 3:15 "…and you will strike his heel." This is again another instance of Satan's own forces being used against him, for God in three days resurrected Jesus and returned Him to the state He was in before he descended to earth as Jesus.  That state was as the spiritual only begotten son of the Almighty and the firstborn of all creation which is what Col 1:15 is telling us.

    Now this wondrous sign of a woman in heaven has her son snatched up to God, by God, and she must therefore flee.

Rev 12:6

The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (NIV)

    This chapter is not a reiteration of the birth of Christ in a chronological order but rather the effects that birth had on heaven as well as the earth.   Verse 6 above relates to the body of Christ, therefore, for the sake of clarity, we will return to this verse when we reach verse 13 of this chapter.

    For now let us note that this is the time when Christ, after his resurrection, took control of the kingdom of heaven.  Up until this time Satan had free reign to wander both heaven and earth.  (See Job 1:6 and 2:1)  But Satan's freedom to wander about heaven was running out… just as his ability to do as he pleases on earth is fast running out today.

Rev 12:7

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

    Christ is referred to in the above verse as Michael, which means prince of peace.  Michael is also referred to in the Bible as an archangel.  We have learned that an Archangel is in charge of other angels.  As the king of Gods kingdom this term Archangel is a title rightfully belonging to Christ for He is in charge of all things in heaven and earth.

Eph 1:19-23

19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,

20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (NIV)

    Now Satan fought back:

Rev 12:8

But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. (NIV)

    "He" above, of course, is Satan and the "They" in "they lost their place in heaven."  Is referring to the one third of the angels of heaven that became demons by following Satan mentioned in verse 4 of this chapter.  And just to make this absolutely clear, it is reiterated in the next verse.

Rev 12:9

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.

    Now it was said above that Christ, immediately after his resurrection, took control of the kingdom of heaven, which he did starting with Christ's salvation for mankind being exercised right after his resurrection.  That was almost two thousand years ago.  Still Satan retained his right to roam heaven until the time of the gentiles was concluded.  But now, in this chapter, the power and authority is being very clearly verified by the next verse.

Rev 12:10

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 Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. (NIV)

    Notice the words "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, " and the authority of his Christ."

    What was the salvation spoken of above?  That salvation was for man from the curse of death. The fulfillment of the promise of a spiritual resurrection with him, which Jesus gave to all who faithfully follow him began the moment after He was resurrected:

Matt 27:52-53

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (KJV)

    The reason they appeared to many was to prove that what Jesus had been telling them was so. The first resurrection, which we will get to in later chapters of Revelation, began with Christ being "Snatched up to God." First Jesus then the others that were asleep in the grave.   Notice in verse 53 above it clearly says " after his resurrection, " So it has been, and so it will be, and continue to be for the rest of eternity.

    When Jesus gave his life as a blood sacrifice the faithful of God were ransomed from the grave, which meant… death no longer had a hold on them. Why not... because:

Rev 12:11

They overcame 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. (NIV)

    The "Him" referred to above is death. But also notice that they were resurrected from death because of the " …word of their testimony…" and not only that, but had remained faithful to that word up to their last breath. " …They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."

    Now these that have been resurrected after Christ are above the second death, which we will also learn of, in later chapters of Revelation.  Because of this and the fact that Christ took command of the kingdom of heaven at that time the whole host of heaven is being told:

Rev 12:12

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." (NIV)

    When this happened can be traced through Daniel and the Bible's stream of time to the year 1914 when the time of the gentiles came to a conclusion. (See chapter one, verse by verse, in this study of Revelation.) God does everything according to a preset schedule.  Christ could not take command of the heavenly kingdom until the time of the gentiles ran out which it did in 1914.

    Well, as we know from history, this fury of Satan resulted in two world wars, the likes of which the earth has never seen before and any good historian will tell you both wars are really the same war.  Also we have learned in previous chapters that events are taking place today that have never happened in the history of man.  Exactly as Christ said they would!   Nonetheless, Satan's fury was also aimed at the Bride or body of Christ.

Rev 12: 13

When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. (NIV)

    As we have learned from this chapter so far, Satan has been cast out of the heavenly kingdom of God, the beginning of which is symbolized by the wondrous sign of a woman in the sky.  With no where else to go he is cast to the earth and pursues the earthly portion of Gods kingdom, which God has not yet made new… for it was not yet time for Him to do so.  Satan therefore tries to destroy this earthly kingdom before the appointed time for it to be fully established arrives. Remember at Christ's resurrection, the time of the gentiles had not been concluded.  The time of the gentiles was a time period, which had been allotted to Satan to do his worst on earth.   That historical period man recorded as the dark ages.

    However, this did not mean that the family of God did not exist.   It most certainly did for Christ had seeded that spiritual family Himself, beginning with the twelve apostles.  Just the same right from the start, Satan began injecting apostasy into the body of Christ where he could.  This is notable by the letters written to the church by Paul, John and others.  Most explicitly noticed by the seven letters to the seven churches from God himself, giving guidance and instruction to the family. Which is the reason these letters were so important to the word of God.

Rev 12:14

The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. (NIV)

    There is no bird faster or more powerful in flight than an eagle.  So this symbolic woman is given these great symbolic eagle wings to outdistance her pursuer and fly to a safe place in the desert. The desert was used as a place of safety for Elijah. He was sent there by the Almighty to hide from Queen Jezebel when she tried to murder all the prophets of God.  Elijah was fed with food brought to him by ravens, showing that God preserves and protects his family.   The parallel here is obvious.

    " For a time, times and half a time". This statement is not as mysterious as it first appears. Let us first reexamine, as we said we would, verse 6 of this chapter in Revelation to find out how long that period of time is.

Rev 12:6

The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (NIV)

    But there is more to this for Christ referred us to Daniel to understand what this time period meant.

Matt 24:15

"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel-- let the reader understand-- (NIV)

    Twice in the history of man this abomination of desolation has occurred.  The first time when the Ark of the Covenant was removed from the temple which foreshadowed the death of Christ.  The Ark of the Covenant was God's visible presence to the house of Israel.  When God allowed it to be taken away, by the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, the house of Israel was left without God's presence… or desolate.  When Christ was sacrificed the whole world was left desolate, without the presence of God's son who is the rightful heir and ruler of the kingdom of God.

    Yet his body or church was still on this earth and it was protected during the time of the two witnesses or what man calls the dark ages.  That period of time described as 1260 days as God relates time to us, but as we see as 1260 years.   During that time man slaughtered man in the name of Christ under the guise of the crusades and other atrocities such as the war of the Roses.  During that time Satan's religion attempted religious genocide with the inquisition.  Still the true body of Christ remained hidden in the symbolic desert while it was nourished with spiritual food.   This came in the form of the writing of the word we call the Bible.

Rev 12:15

Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. (NIV)

    Just killing unknown millions of people in wars and the inquisition was for Satan only a pastime. His main thrust at the kingdom of God has for the most part succeeded, which was instilling lies and half-truths to confuse and disorient the Christian religion.  The great deceiver was at his best during this time leading people from the true fear of God, which is a fear to displease, to the fear of punishment of being burned in a hellfire.  This was a natural outcome from instigating the idea that man had an immortal soul, given to him from a three-headed God.  Idols and statues replaced true faith and huge edifices were built to please the eye and the ear to lend credence to its clergy, while Satan did his best to bury the truth of God's word in the mud and mire of his flood of lies, false concepts and doctrines.

Rev 12:16

But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (NIV)

    Satan has and still does bring into existence many imitations of Christianity just about daily.  But for the most part the proponents of these deliberate attempts at misleading God's family live a short while and die and the earth simply swallows them up into their graves.  For those concepts and false doctrines that seem to hang in there like a bad cold, time is against them and they will eventually be buried under the earth by truth.

    Satan cannot stop or alter, in any way, the coming of the earthly kingdom no matter what he does.  For all those that truly want the knowledge of God…it has been supplied in the Bible, where God speaks directly to each of us from its pages.

    This has been a losing battle by Satan from the very beginning, which doesn't do much for his personality.

Rev 12:17

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-- those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (NIV)

    New offspring for the family of God are born everyday.  The key to escaping Satan's attacks and problems, for these offspring's, are in the words " Those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus."


In summation of chapter twelve, the following points should be noted.

1. The kingdom of God is real, existing both in heaven and on earth.

2. The thousand-year reign of Christ has already begun.

(Remember that number of a thousand years is like all else in Revelation, symbolic, representing a period of time decreed by God.  That thousand-year reign of Christ began with the resurrection of Jesus by God.)

3. Precisely at the time decreed by God, Satan was thrown out of heaven along with those that followed him.

We might also note that when the time decreed by God arrives, Satan and his followers will be removed from the earth.  We will learn about this when we reach chapter 20 of Revelation.


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