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REVELATION - THE END OF THE AGE OF MAN
(A Synopsis of the Revelation of Jesus Christ)

CHAPTER TWELVE

The 3rd Woe Begins
The 1st Sign – The Woman with Child
The 2nd Sign – the Dragon tries to kill the Woman and her Child

The Eighth Revelation of Jesus Christ
—  The Mail Child who will rule all Nations
The Woman is protected from the wrath of the Beast

The 3 Signs

This begins the three great signs in heaven from chapters 12 through 16.

1st Sign Revelation 12:1-2 The Woman clothed with the sun
2nd Sign Revelation 12:3-17 The great Red Dragon
3rd Sign Revelation 15:1-16:21 Seven Angels with the seven last Plagues (the 7 Bowl Judgments)

Sign = semeion (NT:4592) an indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally
It generally means "sign," "symbol," that is, an object or event that has spiritual significance. Here it means "an extraordinary sight," "the appearance of an unusual (or, unique) event."
(from the UBS New Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies.)

The Living Bible translates it as "a great pageant."

The First Sign —  The Woman Clothed with the Sun

Revelation 12:1 & 2

(1) Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. (2) Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
(NKJV)


Seiss points out:
Whatever else is literal in this book, the case of this woman is not, for the Apostle says it is a sign —  a picture —  a symbol of something else. He further tells us that it is "a great sign." In itself it was something very imposing and sublime to the eye which beheld it. But the greatness cannot be well understood, except with reference to the thing signified. It was a great sign as indicating something great, remarkable, momentous. The whole picture is itself so marvelous and extraordinary as to necessitate the idea of something of the greatest excellence and importance. And when it is yet added that the sign is a "great" one, that to which it refers must needs be of the utmost consequence and consideration, and no trifling object or ordinary event can be admitted as fulfilling the majesty of such a picture.
This sign appeared "in the heaven." But that does not seem to be of special significance. In the verses following, we read of another "sign," which appeared in the same place, while both the woman and the dragon are really as much on earth as in heaven. It is simply the scene of vision that is indicated. The seer is in the heavenly regions, and in those regions these signs appear, though relating to both earth and heaven.
(from The Apocalypse: Exposition of the Book of Revelation, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.)

This woman has been variously interpreted by commentators as:
1. Mary, giving birth to Jesus
2. The city of Jerusalem
3. The nation of Israel
4. The Church

Who is she?
1st Clue verse 1 She was clothed with the sun
2nd Clue verse 1 The moon was under her feet
3rd Clue verse 1 She had a crown of 12 stars on her head
4th Clue verse 2 She was about to give birth
 
1. Genesis 37:9-11 shows that Jacob understood the sun, moon and stars referred to him, Rachel and his sons.

Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, "Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me."
So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?

2. Several times throughout Scripture Israel is referred to by God as a woman, and His wife as in Hosea 3:1, Jeremiah 3:6 and Jeremiah 31:32.

Hosea 3:1
Then the Lord said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans."

Jeremiah 3:6
The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: "Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot."

Jeremiah 31:31-33
"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.

5th Clue verse 4 The Dragon would attempt to kill the child as soon as He was born
 
1. It is generally agreed that the "Man Child" is the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Under the influence of Satan, Herod tried to destroy him.

Matthew 2:1-18
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." ... When King Herod heard this he was disturbed ... When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied ... Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

After they had heard the king, they went on their way ... And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. ...

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."

... When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

Then Herod, when he realized that he had been misled by the wise men, was furiously enraged, and he sent and put to death all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that territory who were two years old and under, reckoning according to the date which he had investigated diligently and had learned exactly from the wise men.

Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

The Revelation of Jesus Christ as The Mail Child who will rule all Nations

6th Clue verse 5 Her son would eventually rule all nations with a rod of iron
 
1.

We see the Messiah described in the prophetical Psalm 2:9 and the Son of God in Revelation 2:18-27 as ruling with a rod of iron

Psalm 2:9
You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.

Romans 15:12
And again, Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, One who will arise to rule over the nations."   (NIV)

Revelation 2:18-27
These things says the Son of God ... he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations — 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron ... 'as I also have received from My Father.

7th Clue verse 5 Her son would be caught up to heaven
 
1. Jesus was "caught up" into heaven.

Acts 1:9
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

Luke 24:50-52
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.


Conclusion: The Woman is the nation of Israel.
They were called out to be separated from the rest of the world when God directed Abram to leave Ur for an unknown destination. The major purpose was to bring the Messiah, salvation and God's grace to the entire world. Verse 17 below refers to "the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."  Prior to the rapture of the church, believers are "sons of Abraham". After the rapture those who believe (most of whom will sacrifice their lives for their faith) are included in this number.

Genesis 12:1
The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.

Galatians 3:6-8
Just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed."

 
NOTE: The church cannot be the woman as some suggest since the woman gives birth to the Man Child. We did not give birth to Jesus, but through His sacrifice He gives birth to us.

John 3:4-8
Jesus answered him, "I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God. ... Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above). ... The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."  (AMP)


Where does the woman (Israel) go for protection?
1. verse 6 & 14 Into the wilderness (desert)
2. verse 6 & 14 A place prepared by God
3. verse 6 & 14 A place where she is fed
  Some believe that Israel flees to the rock city of Petra. This is the strongest known fortress located between steep mountains and twisted canyons. Some believers have already stored Bibles and food there for the Jews.
  However, we are not sure where this place is, and it is not important for us to know. The important thing to know is that God protects His people in times of trouble. Some He protects physically, but all He protects spiritually.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.      (NIV)


How does she get there?
On two wings of a great eagle
These remind us of how God delivered Israel from Egypt
Exodus 19:4-5
You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.      (NIV)

How long is she there?
1260 days = A Time, Times and Half a Time = 3 1/2 Jewish years
It is through Israel that Yeshua [Jesus] came into the world (Romans 1:3; 9:4-5).
In the Old Testament, Israel is often compared to a woman, and even a woman in travail

Isaiah 54:5-6
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.  For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused," says your God.    (NKJV)

Micah 4:10
Be in pain, and labor to bring forth,  O daughter of Zion, like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, you shall dwell in the field, and to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; there the Lord will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.     (NKJV)

The apostate world system is compared to a harlot

Revelation 17:1-2
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."       (NKJV)

And the church of Jesus Christ is compared to a pure bride

Revelation 19:7-8
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.      (NKJV)


The Second Sign — The Red Dragon

Revelation 12:3-17

(3) And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. (4) His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. (5) She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. (6) Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

(7) And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, (8) but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. (9) So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

(10) Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. (11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (12) Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."

(13) Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. (14) But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. (15) So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. (16) But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (17) And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
(NKJV)


There is no mystery as to who this dragon is, for we are told specifically in verse 9. He is:
1. That Serpent of old

Genesis 3:1-15
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. ... So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.  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."

2. Called the Devil
diabolos (NT:1228) Slanderer, false accuser, Satan
(this is the origin of the English "diabolical")
3. Called Satan
Satanas (NT:4567) Slanderer, the accuser, the devil
(this is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew "Satan" (NT:4566)
 
NOTE: We must remember that prophecy is rarely in chronological order. Our concept of "time" was created on the 4th day of creation:

Genesis 1:14-19
And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the fourth day.   (NIV)

Outside of human history and our dimension, there is no relevance of time as we know it. There can be many things going on at the same time, such as the war between Michael and Satan, which has been in progress since Lucifer first decided to mutiny against God.

Isaiah 14:12-13
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer [literally Day Star] , son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!  For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'  Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.   (NKJV)

Ephesians 6:10-13
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.   (NIV)


Now that we know WHO he is, what does he look like?
1. verse 3 He looks like a dragon
drαkon (NT:1404)  serpent, dragon, sea-monster
When did the dragon turn into a snake?

Genesis 3:1-14
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. ... He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" ... The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"  "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." ... So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.    (NIV)

2. verse 3 He is extremely large - huge
mιgas (NT:3173)  enormous, massive;  figuratively: powerful
3. verse 3 He is red like fire
purrhos (NT:4450) flame colored, red
The color red is associated with death

Revelation 6:4
Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another.     (NKJV)

And Satan is a murder from the beginning

John 8:44
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning...      (NKJV)

4. verse 3 He has 7 heads
5. verse 3 He has 10 horns
6. verse 3 He has 7 crowns on his heads
The heads, horns, and crowns will appear again in Revelation 13:1 and 17:3.
We find that the heads will represent mountains (Revelation 17:9), and the horns will represent kings (Revelation 17:12).
7. verse 4 With his tail, he sweeps 1/3 of the stars of heaven and throws them down to the earth
Angels are often referred to as stars (as in Revelation 1:20) and this would indicate that when Satan rebelled, a third of the angels rebelled with him. Most likely, these angels were under his command when he initiated his insurrection.

What does he do?
1. verse 4 He stands before the woman to devour her Child as soon as it is born (see 5th clue)
2. verse 13 He persecutes the woman
3. verse 15 He comes against her like a flood
4. verse 17 He makes war with the rest of her children who have the testimony of Jesus Christ
5. verse 7 He and his angles war against Michael and his angels

What happens to him?
1. verse 8 He and his angles lose the war against Michael and his angels
2. verse 9 He and his angles are cast out of heaven
3. verse 9 He and his angles are thrown down to the earth
4. verse 11 He and his angles are defeated by the testimony of the believers and the blood of the Lamb
5. verse 12 He takes his revenge out on the earth and the sea in the short time he has left

The Terrible Trio Revealed  [Revelation 12:1-13:18]
The Dragon (Satan)
Satan is the great enemy of the church and he fights against God and His people by accusing the saints in heaven and attacking them on earth. However, Jesus Christ has overcome the old serpent, and He gives victory to His people.
The 1st Beast (The Antichrist)
Satan goes so far in imitating the messiah that he causes it to appear that the 1st beast dies and is resurrected as Jesus was.
The 2nd Beast (The False Prophet)
The adversary always works through human means, in this case, 'the beast' and the 'false prophet.' Satan is an imitator, a counterfeiter, and he seeks to control men by means of deception. 'The Beast' is the future world dictator who promises to solve pressing problems of the nations.
For a time, it appears that the satanic trio is succeeding; but then their world empire begins to collapse.
The nations assemble for one final battle.
Jesus Christ appears, and the war is over.

The last conquest of the Devil
The ejection of Satan from heaven lodged him upon the earth. This is the final cleansing of the heavenly spaces from his foul presence. His revolt began in heaven, and the effectual overthrow of his power commences there. The victory over evil follows the order in, which it came into existence.
You would think that so signal a defeat in the heaven would cure him of his malignity; at least induce him to refrain from any further attempts against God and His people. But he is hopelessly depraved, and nothing but absolute force can quell his devil nature. There is no cure for a being so totally perverted.
And his ejection from heaven and confinement to the earth only angers him the more, and calls forth increased violence, inducing a state of things by far the worst that this world ever experienced.
Who is warned? Everyone living on the earth and in the sea
Why are they warned? Because the devil has come down with extreme rage and he knows his time is almost up.

The Command given (Luke 21:36)
 
Be always watching
Pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen

The Promise fulfilled (Revelation 3:10)

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I also will keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to those who live on the earth.



 

Bibliography

 


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