The Book of Revelation (part 22)
October 14, 2020
The Book of Revelation (part 22)
Revelation 12: The Woman and the Dragon
Revelation 4 shows God as the creator, owner, and sustainer of all things. The Sovereign. The Almighty. He alone is worthy to bring fair judgments and justice into a fallen world.
Revelation 5 shows God with a scroll in His right hand, the hand of authority. The scroll is God’s title deed to the earth, He is the earth’s rightful owner and is preparing to take it back from His enemy Satan, who took the authority over it from Adam and Eve when they sinned.
In Revelation 6, we looked at the opening of 6 of the 7 seals on the scroll on God’s right hand.
Revelation 7 is a parenthesis between the 6th and 7th seals, showing God’s protection of Jews before the Day of the Lord wrath begins, and shows the raptured saints in heaven before God’s wrath is poured out.
The rapture of the church occurs after the 6th seal is opened and the cosmic disturbances happen in Revelation 6, beginning with verse 12. The rapture ends this period of severe terror by antiChrist, and prepares the way for the 7th seal to be opened and the Day of the Lord to begin.
Revelation 8 is the beginning of the Day of the Lord, which is when the wrath of God is being poured out.
Understand that there is a clear pattern or sequence of events that are transpiring in Revelation.
The scroll in God’s right hand has been unsealed. The church of the Lord Jesus will be here for the breaking of the first 6 seals on the scroll as mentioned in Revelation 6.
But the church is taken out before the 7th seal is broken. The 7th seal opens the scroll in God’s hand. The obvious contents of the scroll are 7 trumpets, which begin the wrath of God unleashed on those without Christ who follow Satan’s plans. After the 7 trumpets are 7 bowls containing the final outpouring of the wrath of God.
In Revelation 8 and 9 are the Trumpet Judgments .
First Trumpet: Vegetation Affected
Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck – salt water affected
Third Trumpet: The Waters Struck – fresh water affected.
Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck
Fifth Trumpet – Locusts from the bottomless pit – demonic forces attack people
Sixth Trumpet – Angels from the Euphrates – fallen angels and demonic forces attack people.
Some believe that the time period of the trumpet judgments is about two years or so. It’s really hard to know for sure. We do know that the antiChrist rules for 3½ years and then turns against Israel. From that time to the blowing of the last or 7th trumpet is 3½ years.
The Great Tribulation (the period of intense persecution right after the AntiChrist turns against Israel) will last for a year to a year-and-a-half. No one is quite sure. Just think about this so that when the antiChrist appears with the peace agreement with Israel, you will have an idea of how long we have before the rapture of the church.
Revelation 10 is another interlude (pause) between events and begins a series of events that will culminate with the return of Jesus!
An angel, the Lord Jesus, appears and a scroll is opened which contains what will happen in Revelation 11 with two witnesses, the 2nd coming of Christ at the blowing of the 7th trumpet, and then the bowl judgments that will cleanse the earth during the 75 extra days after the 70th week of Daniel is completed.
75 additional days
After the 7-year period, there are 75 additional days added for God to cleanse the earth and prepare for the Millennial reign of Jesus. Thirty of those days will be for the 7 bowl judgments to quickly bring the antiChrist and his armies to defeat, and then 45 of those days are an interim between the battle of Armageddon and the 1000-year rule of Christ.
Daniel 12:11-13 (NKJV)
And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. 13 But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.
The time period between the antiChrist desecrating the rebuilt temple and his defeat at Armageddon is 3-1/2 years plus 3O days.
Jesus returns when the 7th trumpet is blown, and is here during the bowl judgments. He goes back and brings believers with Him from heaven to help Him with the last battle (Armageddon).
The events of Revelation 11 are contained in the scroll in the angel’s hand in Revelation 10.
These events include the measuring of the temple, the desecration of Jerusalem, information about the ministry of the two witnesses, and the blowing of the 7th trumpet, which is the 2nd coming of Christ to earth, and the bowl judgments that will be a final cleansing of the earth from sin.
Revelation 12 is looking back over the years of time to give us a broad view of what is happening, as God retakes the earth as His own.
Revelation 12:1 (NKJV)
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.
The sign is an authenticating mark, showing that the message is coming from God Himself.
Moses did signs or miracles proving that He was sent by God Himself.
The Jews were constantly looking for a sign from Jesus that He was from God.
Mark 8:11-12; John 2:18; Matthew 12:39
The woman is not Mary, as some Catholics teach, nor is it the church.
The woman here is referring to the descendants of Abraham. It is referring to Israel.
There is an irrevocable covenant that God made with Abraham that is being fulfilled through the nation of Israel.
Notice Genesis 12:1-3 (NLT)
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
This all began with a prophecy in Genesis 3:15:
Genesis 3:15 (NLT)
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
The offspring or seed of the woman is the Lord Jesus. He bruises the head or authority of Satan on earth. Satan bruises the heel of the church or persecutes the church severely.
A woman clothed with the sun is a reference to the favor and honor of God upon Israel. From Israel came the savior of the world!
Romans 9:4-5 (NLT)
They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants (Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic, Mosaic, New) with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises. 5 Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
…with the moon under her feet
The sun is dominant in the sky and the moon is subjected to the sun.
The moon refers to the Gentile nations of the world.
At the end of the age, the nations of the world will be defeated by Israel when they attack at the final battle, the battle of Armageddon.
Israel’s victory over the nations will be tied directly to God’s final defeat of Satan and Christ’s final victory over the antiChrist. Satan has used the nations of the world to dominate Israel since its beginning as a nation. Now, Israel finally dominates the nations of the world.
…and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
The garland is a crown. The 12 stars represent the 12 sons of Jacob who are known as the 12 tribes of Israel.
The blessings of God came through Isaac’s son Jacob, not Esau!
Revelation 12:2 (NKJV)
Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
The woman cried out in pain as she delivered a child. This refers to the incessant persecution that Israel has endured as a nation as the mother of the Christchild. Satan has attempted through the hundred of years of time to hinder the birth of the Christchild by destroying Israel. The Old Testament account of God dealing with Israel and its sinful ways is an account of the terrible birth pangs Israel went through to bring Jesus to birth. Satan tried unsuccessfully to destroy Israel.
The New Testament opens with these words:
Matthew 1:1 (NKJV)
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
Jesus was the physical offspring of David and was the legal heir to David’s throne, fulfilling the Davidic Covenant.
Jesus was also the offspring of Abraham, and fulfilled the promises that God made to Jacob that the entire world would be blessed through Him.
Genesis 28:14 (NKJV)
Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Revelation 12:3 (NKJV)
And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
In verse 1, the woman had 12 stars on a crown on her head. Here, a red dragon has 7 heads and a crown on each one of its heads!
The woman was all about redemption and getting mankind right with God, and about final victory.
The red dragon is all about destroying man’s fellowship with God, and is moving towards his own destiny of defeat.
The 7 heads on the dragon represent the 7 empires or kingdoms on earth that have dominated Israel since its beginning as a nation.
The 10 horns represent 10 kings who ruled over these 7 empires.
A horn in the Bible refers to strength, representing here the strength of a king over his kingdom. (See Psalm 18:2; 2 Samuel 22:3; Daniel 8:3-6.)
The 7 empires that have ruled over Israel are:
7. Islam (at the fall of the Western Byzinetine Roman empire in 1453A.D).
Revelation 12:4 (NKJV)
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.
The dragon or Satan took with Him one third of the angels from heaven when he fell.
The nations that have had a strong Jewish-Christian heritage as Christian nations are the only ones in history that have been able to stand against Satan’s control through the dragon.
Satan tried through the 7 heads and 10 horns dominated by the dragon to stop the birth of the Christchild and to keep His will from coming to pass on the earth.
Galatians 4:4-5 (NKJV)
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Herod tried to have Jesus killed after He was born, but God intervened and Jesus’ life was spared. (Matthew 2:13-16).
Revelation 12:5 (NKJV)
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.
The nation of Israel gave birth to Jesus (the male child). He will rule the earth one day. There is no mention of Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection. There is only mention here of His ascension to God.
The focus is on the end of time when God defeats ALL of His enemies, so the themes of redemption through Christ are not mentioned.
Psalm 2 is a Messianic Psalm and speaks of the time period of the end and final judgments:
Called The Messiah’s Triumph and Kingdom.
Psalms 2 (NLT)
Why are the nations so angry?Why do they waste their time with futile plans? (2) The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against His anointed one. (3) “Let us break their chains,” they cry,
“and free ourselves from slavery to God.” (4) But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. (5) Then in anger He rebukes them, terrifying them with His fierce fury. (6) For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.” (7) The king proclaims the LORD’s decree: The LORD said to me, ‘You are My son. Today I have become your Father. (8) Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
the whole earth as your possession. (9) You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’” (10) Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! (11) Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. (12) Submit to God’s royal Son, or He will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for His anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!
Revelation 12:6 (NKJV)
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.
This verse is referring to the last 3½ years of Daniel’s 70th week known as the Tribulation.
Israel goes into seclusion (the 144,000) that have been sealed by God and will go through the Day of the Lord judgments.
Revelation 12:7-9 (NKJV)
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.
The dragon is identified by 3 titles in these verses: the Serpent, the Devil, and Satan. These names describe his character.
The name Serpent refers to Satan tempting mankind with all the vices of sin. The name Devil refers to Satan accusing us before the throne of God. His name Satan refers to his schemes as our adversary where he seeks to move us away from our fellowship with God.
He sometimes uses trickery as an angel of light. (See 2 Corinthians 11:14.)
And sometimes he comes with the roar of a lion. (1 Peter 5:8)
Revelation 12:10 (NKJV)
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.
Here, Satan is cast down to the earth, and this begins the last 3½ years of the reign of the antiChrist called the Great Tribulation. (Matthew 24:21). No believers or Jews could survive this time period unless Jesus shortened it.
Jeremiah calls this the time of Jacob’s trouble:
Jeremiah 30:7 (NKJV)
Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Revelation 12:11-12 (NKJV)
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.
During this Great Tribulation there will be martyrs who give their lives for what they believe. It looks like they are defeated, but they actually win.
The blood of the Lamb has given them salvation and their salvation is evidenced by the word of their testimony.
Revelation 12:13 (NKJV)
Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
This shows that the last 3½ years of the Tribulation will be intense as Satan seeks to destroy God’s chosen race – Israel.
Satan seeks to get the Jews that are here to take the antiChrist’s mark, or to worship him instead of God.
Jesus tells the Jews to flee from Jerusalem during this terribly dark time. (See Matthew 24:15-21.)
Revelation 12:14 (NKJV)
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.
The Jews flee away from Jerusalem when the antiChrist breaks his covenant with them. Some think the Jews will flee to southern Jordan to the area of Petra.
Revelation 12:15 (NKJV)
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.
The flood refers to an army that pursues Israel into the desert areas.
But this army is being trapped by God!
Revelation 12:16 (NKJV)
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.
We really don’t know how the earth helps Israel overcome the antiChrist. It may be caused by an earthquake occurring during this time.
How will the dragon, the antiChrist, respond to being unable to get to these Jewsish believers?
Revelation 12:17 (NKJV)
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.
The rest of her offspring refers to the Jews and Gentiles who refuse to take the mark of antiChrist offers. They simply choose to trust God to take care of them.
This is a time of serious persecution during the last 3 and ½ years of the 7 years of what is called the Tribulation.
1. Know that God has a plan for the total redemption of mankind from Satan’s rule and will fulfill that plan just as described.
2. The blood of Jesus cleanses us now, and gives us victory over our enemy!
3. We should stand firm in our confidence in God and resist Satan with the blood of Jesus and with our confession of what we believe!