This is an interesting chapter as we now go back into history with a quick review of the start of Israel, the birth of Messiah, then Satan and Michael showing us the war of good and evil on the earth and in the heavenlies.
We can divide this chapter into 7 parts as follows:-
1) Israel – The Woman. Rev 12:1-2.
2) Satan – The Great Red Dragon. Rev 12:3-4.
3) Messiah – The Man Child. Rev 12:5-6.
4) Michael – Casts out Satan from Heaven. Rev 12:7-9.
5) War on the saints and the world – by the Devil. Rev 12:10-12.
6) Israel’s Persecution – The Great Tribulation. Rev 12:13-16.
7) The Remnant Persecuted – the seed of the Woman. Rev 12:17.
The other point for us to see is that in chapters 12, 13 and 14 up to verse 20 we are introduced to the characters of the Tribulation Period as a whole:-
1) The Woman – representing Israel seen in the 12 stars as the 12 tribes.
2) The Dragon – representing Satan.
3) The Man Child – referring to Messiah Jesus our Lord.
4) Michael – representing the Angels.
5) Israel – the remnant that keep the commandments and their testimony.
6) The Beast out of the sea – the world’s last dictator.
7) The Beast out of the land – the false prophet & false religious leader.
We shall now look more closely at the seven divisions of Revelation chapter 12 and its 17 verses:-
These verses teach us about a great wonder or sign (Hebrew meaning) in Heaven and so we see the plan and purpose of God in choosing a nation to serve Him and to declare His Holy Name unto their own and the nations. For a time Israel did this but her major failing was in going after other gods and so she was taken captive twice and finally scattered worldwide for a season but within God’s covenant and plan she was to and has indeed returned to the Land that God gave her. His plan is on course and we are indeed living in the end times.
The Woman is described as being clothed with the Sun, having the Moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of 12 stars. Replacement theologians have wrongly stated that this is the Church. Firstly, it is the woman who brings forth a Child as verses 5-6 teach us. He will for 1,000 years rule all nations with a Rod of Iron with His saints. (cf. Revelation 2:26-27) The Church did not bring forth the Man Child (The Son of Man) a Jewish woman did – singular, He who indeed is the King of Israel, but yes Messiah is of the seed of David, the Lion of Judah and the nation of Israel. The word Church is a gentile name that came about in the 3rd Century as the Anglo-Saxon language came into being and is a generic term for the House of God, but Israel was never called the Church. Israel is the Wife of Yehovah and the Church is the Bride of Christ, and is never referred to as a Woman and so to mix metaphors is not good exegesis! The Church is made up of Jew and Gentile, the one new man being built by her Lord and Saviour. The Church per se in using this name for the Household of God came into being on the Day of Pentecost as God did a new thing amongst His people. It is they who were commissioned to give the nations His Word (The Scriptures) and His Son (The Saviour) as Redeemer of all who come to Him.
So as Jews took the Gospel into the world many Gentiles began pouring into God’s House and His Kingdom and the rest is history.
Secondly, replacementist thinking has seen the Man Child as the Church caught up to Heaven (the rapture) in verse 5. But it is the Child who is caught up to God and to His Throne. This of course is showing us Messiah’s glorious Resurrection and Ascension and then being on His Throne at the right hand of His Father. In context verse 6 speaks of the Woman (Israel) being in a place reserved for her for 1,260 days or 3.5 years which is the second part of the Tribulation period.
Contextually it is far better to see in three ways in Genesis 39:9-10 of Jacob seeing the sun, moon and the 12 stars as representative of his father, mother and his 11 brothers. Secondly, in Revelation chapter 12:1-2 we can also see the Sun on the Woman as symbolically representative of the true light of God’s Messiah on her. The Moon under her feet represents false light and religion that Israel walked with at times and the 12 stars as being the 12 Tribes of Israel. Thirdly Jacob and Rachel are symbolically the sun and moon and the 12 stars their 12 sons who become the 12 Tribes of Israel fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant. Finally, in context with verses 3 and 4 we see the travail of the Woman (Israel) at the time of the first coming of our Lord Jesus as Satan attacks – see verse 4.
We are now told about another sign in heaven, a great red dragon, with 7 heads and 10 horns and 7 crowns upon his head, representing satanic power and rule. His tail draws a third of the stars down to the earth. The dragon stands before the woman to devour her child as soon as it was born. There are 2 points here:-
1. Satan deceived one third of the angels in heaven to follow him in his rebellion. (cf. Isaiah 14:12-14 and his infamous 5 foolish ‘I Wills’ before God).
Again symbolism is seen as the stars refer to the angels in Heaven who fall with their leader’s pride and foolish plan and would be usurper of Almighty God.
2. Satan stands before the Woman (Israel) to try and destroy the Man Child, the Messiah through Herod his instrument of evil. (cf. Matthew 2:15-20).
The she who brought forth the Man Child is seen as both Israel and Mary. The following verses from Scripture show this:-
Israel – Genesis 49:10. Isaiah 9:1-2. (cf. Matt 4:14-17). Isaiah 9:6-7.
Isaiah 11:1. Isaiah chapter 49. Jeremiah 33:14-16, 20-21. Daniel 7:13-14.
Mary – Isaiah 7:14. Matthew 1:18-25. Luke 1:34-35.
(Also Messiah to Rule all Nations – Psalm 2:9. Revelation 2:27; 19:15.)
We obviously have a time gap between verses 5 and 6 just as within the last part of verse 5 – Messiah is born, lives and dies, then is caught up to Heaven. Verse 6 is future and is speaking of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (cf Jer 30:7), the Persecution of the Woman (Israel) in the second 3.5 years (1,260 days).
We can also in type see that the woman Mary did indeed flee with Joseph and her child into Egypt this being a place prepared for her for a season, but most scholars see the 1,260 days quoted in verse 6 as being the second half of the 7 Year Tribulation Period where the remnant of Israel is preserved by God.
NB. This type of a time gap can be seen in another verse – see Isaiah 61:1-2.
We have the Lord repeating this prophetic announcement (Luke 4:16-21) but He stops short of citing the whole of verse 2 in the Synagogue in Nazareth otherwise the end time scenario of the Lord’s day of vengeance would have come into being if the living Word of God had spoken the written Word of God.
Michael means ‘Who is like God’ which is a rhetorical question as no one is like God. But he is an Archangel and a mighty angelic being who is seen as a guardian Prince over Israel (cf. Daniel 12:1). To him is giving the task with the other 2/3rds of the angels not caught up in the heavenly rebellion to fight against Satan and the rebel angels so that they were thrown out of Heaven as no place was found for them there. In type then, all rebels will be thrown out of the presence of God for all eternity and our Lord Jesus states He saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven. (cf. Luke 10:18). Some of the fallen angels in the rebellion are to this day in chains and darkness in Hell (cf. 2 Peter 2:4) until the Day of Judgment when death and Hell are thrown into the Lake of Fire for ever.
War on the saints and the world – by the Devil. Verses 10-12.
The announcement is really fourfold in these verses.
1. The Kingdom of God and the power of His Messiah in salvation and strength.
2. The accuser of the brethren is cast down.
3. All those in Messiah throughout history and within the end times overcome by the blood of the lamb and their testimony, loving not their lives unto death.
4. Woe to those on land and sea for the Devil is coming with great wrath (anger) as he knows his time is short. The Lord said He would do a short work on the earth (cf. Romans 9:8) and Paul tells us that the Devil will shortly be under our feet (cf. Romans 16:20) as he will be bound for a 1,000 years. Our adversary will see our dominion over him as the Lord will bruise him under our feet, and so to walk over someone is to have dominion over them. He will be under us! Hallelujah! God always wins as do His people, nothing can defeat or separate us from Him who loves us and died for us.
Again with the persecution of Satan against the Woman (Israel) verse 13, she is allowed to flee and is kept for 1,260 days, a time, times and half a time, being 3.5 years from the face of the Serpent – verse 14. The flood of water from Satan in verse 15 can be seen as being physical but can also be symbolic being seen as the total effort of Satan throughout history and in the end times to destroy the chosen race of God. Verse 16 shows that the earth swallows up the Serpents flood of water and Israel are saved (see the promise of Isaiah 59:19).
The real Seed of the Woman (cf. Genesis 3:15) is of course the Messiah, our Lord Jesus born of a woman under the Law at the right time in history. (cf. Galatians 4:4). But here in verse 17 we are seeing the seed of the Woman the godly remnant of Israel in the second half of the Tribulation, Jacob’s Time of Trouble (cf. Jeremiah 30:7). The first half of the Tribulation Period may be seen as the Preparation of Israel – a false peace treaty that will be broken midway through the 7 year period and the second half seen as the Persecution of Israel. They will survive for if those days were not shortened no flesh would survive as Jesus taught and so we can see that both Jews and Gentiles in the time of the end will again be over comers through keeping the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus their Messiah as verse 17 states. Many will become martyr’s as they will not take the Mark of the Beast. These are the Tribulation saints who lose their heads but are to reign with Messiah for a 1,000 years and then of course into all eternity as it is written – Revelation 20:4; 21:1-7. Amen.
Date : 30/11/-0001