A NEW LOOK AT REVELATION 12

Sep10

A NEW LOOK AT REVELATION 12

Satan fights God’s people, the church, who are grafted into the “good olive tree,” the remnant of Israel, who also believe in Jesus and also those of unbelieving Israelis who will turn to Jesus at his coming.  Satan hates all people, of course, but he especially hates all of those born Israelis, believers and non-believers alike, because of their historical and present favored status with God.

Revelation 12 comes in two parts – one is relating the same story as the other, although the second is a shorter version.   The Book allows us to understand the identity and power of the woman who bridges Old and New Testament times, the time when she flees to the wilderness, and the Dragon’s hatred of the woman.

Also, when does the war in heaven occur, and who threw one-third of whose angels to the earth and, perhaps, for what purpose. It tells us what “time, times and half a time”, which comes to us first from the book of Daniel, means.   Other events and symbols in Revelation 12 will be clarified.

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

Revelation 12 starts with an introduction of the woman, the people of God, in verses 1 and 2 from the Old Testament. We find out that she is pregnant, ready to give birth to the Son, Jesus of Nazareth.  Verses 3 and 4 introduce us to the red dragon, identified in verse 9 as Satan.  He lies in wait for Jesus to be born in order to destroy Him after He is born.  Jesus is triumphant over the Devil and ascemds to His Father in Heaven.

Few would argue that the woman here represents God’s people as the body of the Old Testament.  Although some would say that she is not the same as the New Covenant body, the church, according to Paul she is the “good olive tree” into which New Covenant believers are grafted.  (Romans 11:17, 24)

Jesus makes a strong point of believers clothing as a type of the righteous and overcoming nature of the people of God.

“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their
garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.”
Revelation 3:4 “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in
hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.”
Matthew 22:12  “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,
that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be
clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and
anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation
3:18

The description of the woman clothed with the sun represents the shekenah glory and power of God surrounding her.  God’s approval and grace rests upon her as well.

The moon was created as the lesser light and shines in the night.  Depicted as under the woman’s feet places the moon symbolically as being dominated by the woman.

“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head
over all things to the church,” (Ephesian 1:22) “And the God of peace
shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly….” (Romans 16:20a) ” Behold,
I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all
the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
(Luke 10:13)

Nothing in the book of Revelation helps to explain the crown of twelve stars on the woman’s head.  One idea we can surmise is that a crown represents rulership.

The book of Genesis teaches us that Joseph, the son of Jacob, dreamed that the sun, moon, and the eleven stars would bow down to him. (Genesis 37:9)  The sun represented Jacob; the moon, Leah; and the eleven stars, Joseph’s brothers. Those eleven stars with Joseph became the rulers of the twelve tribes of Israel.  In the New Testament the twelve apostles continue the Old Testament symbolism of the heads of the twelve tribes.  These are crown the twelve stars on the woman’s head.

In Revelation 12:2 the woman waits in pain to give birth to Jesus Christ.  Of course, we all know that Mary gave birth to Jesus, but verse 2 imputes that coming birth to the whole body of Old Testament believers.  Anna and Simeon interceded through the revelation of God by prayer for the saviour to be born in Israel. (Luke 2:26 – 36)  The whole of Israel received credit for essentially what Mary, Anna, and Simeon did.

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.

The woman appeared as the first great wonder.  The great red dragon appears as the second.  No one has to guess who he is.  “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world….” (Revelation 12:9a)

He is described in the book of Job (Job 41); he is that deceiving serpent (with legs, most likely) in the garden.*  God cursed the serpent, saying*….(U)pon thy belly shalt thou go….”(Genesis 3:14), implying that the serpent propelled himself differently before the curse.  I believe that v. 9 above implies that the serpemt existed in the form of the dragon before the curse and that is why Satan adopted the dragon (which God accepted for use in the scriptures) as one of his personas.

He is the enemy of every believer and of the world itself.  He hates God and everything He created.  He emvies God’s exalted position amd imitates God’s ways in order to replace Him and deceive His people.

He is “great” because he is apparently large and an exalted being.  He is red because has been a murderer, shedding blood since the beginning, causing many humans to go early to the grave. (John 8:44)  Also, he thinks of himself as royalty which red would imply.

Oddly enough the great red dragon has not one but seven heads each with its own crown.  In addition to that ten horns grow out of the seventh head, although verse 3 does not specify out of which head the horns grow.  We cannot really understand the meaning of the sevem heads and ten horns until we have a some understanding of Daniel 7, 8, 11 and Revelation 17.

Since that explanation would be too long for an article as this is,  I am going to give you a summary.  If you want a detailed explanation, you should read, Daniel’s Prophecy, Syria, and More (2014).

The seven-headed-ten-horned beast also- appears in Revelation 13, as a leopard, and 17 as a scarlet-colored beast.  Revelation 17:10 gives us the clue that the seven heads are seven kings. Since the beasts to which the seven heads belong in Revelation 12, 13, and 17 act maliciously, we can surmise that the seven heads act maliciously as well.

In Revelation 12:6 and 13:5 this beast with its seventh heads attacks the believers for 1260 days, 42 months, or three and one-half years.  He is responsible for the mark upon unbelievers. (13:16, 17)  We must be talking about the Anti-christ.

Now do the heads collectively run the beast or has each head worked the beast one-at–time down through time?  Revelation 17:10 gives us the answer to that because at the time Revelation was written five of those seven kings or heads ceased to exist.  The Anti-christ spirit fostered by the great red-dragon has existed down through time, but the seven kings, the heads of the beast and all Anti-christ, existed at different times down through history.

The seventh head of the red-dragon rules at the very end of time.  It is upon this king or head that ten
horns protrude.  These ten horns, also, wear crowns. (13:1)  The ten horns, the ten toes of the feet of
the image of Daniel 2, are ten kings who don’t exist presently, but who will exist at the very end of time and who will give the seventh king, the last Anti-christ ruler, their power and authority to his
rule. (17:12, 13)

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