Revelation: Chapter 12
The woman of chapter 12 is the pure, true church of God. She is pregnant and about to give birth. A woman who is "pregnant"- is expecting a child to be born. Using the same analogy, the church of God, from Adam to Zechariah, has been waiting in expectation for the coming (birth) of the Messiah. Here in Revelation the expecting is about to be fulfilled; she is about "to give birth".
In 1999 the world was filled with 2000 mania. 21st Century fervor was filling the media. But in reality, very few people really know what to expect. They consulted mediums, spiritual advisors, palm readers and their astrological guides. A crystal ball of the future would have been great to have. "Back to the Future" in real life could change a lot of lives.
The Bible is the foremost revealer of secrets. It tells us what will happen in the future. There is no mystery, only getting people to believe is the problem. In our study of Daniel, we have proven the Bible to be believable and accurate in its prophecies. We can trust these prophecies that yet lie in the future to come true.
Revelation is the book of the Bible for looking into our future. Many people feel intimidated when they read it. But they shouldn’t be. God gave it to us to reveal the future to us so we could be aware of wickedness and righteousness and make the right choices. He gave it so we wouldn't feel intimidated. God gave John the revelation to "show His servants what must soon take place." "What you have seen, what is now and what will take place later." Revelation 1:1,19. That sums it up. From John's day to ours, it is to be a blessing to those who not only read it, but also "hear it and take it to heart." Revelation 1:3.
To show you how easy Revelation is to understand, we are going to start with chapter 12. Revelation, like Daniel, is heavily steeped in symbolism. It is easy to understand when you let the Bible explain itself. Then like Daniel, just let history do its job.
We start with a woman clothed with the sun, moon and stars. "Woman" in the Bible is used to represent a church. The church can be a pure, virgin woman as the bride of Christ, or a wicked adulterous church who has rebelled against God. (Revelation 17:4-6).
In verses three and four we see a red dragon standing in front of the woman ready to destroy the baby. The dragon is the devil. The color red symbolizes persecution and destruction that the devil is responsible for. The devil through the government of Rome was waiting to kill Christ. Matthew 2:13-18.
The woman gave birth to the Male Child. This Male Child is the Christ, the Messiah, and the God who will rule the whole earth. Very briefly John captures the life of Christ, "And her child was snatched up to God and to His throne." The reason John does not spend more time to elaborate on the life of Jesus, is because he has already done that in his book called, "John" of the gospels. John’s main thrust here is the church of God. What happens to it now that it's Leader is safe in heaven? Who takes care of the church?
In verse 14 we read that the woman was given the two wings of a "great eagle" to fly away to safety. What were the wings of the "great eagle"? I did some research and this is what I found. The symbol of Rome was the eagle. Rome was great. The woman fled, using the wings of Rome. What were the wings that she could fly so fast on? The roads that Rome built. God had Rome build those roads for one major reason, so His church (woman) could fly away to the farthest corners of the empire to safety when persecuted.
As noted earlier, the pagan, idol-worshipping Romans persecuted the Christians, the church of God. "The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1260 days." Revelation 12:6. So where did the woman flee too? It is God who always cares for and watches over the woman: His church. He has a place for her to hide in.
In verses seven through nine, John wants his readers to understand where the devil came from. It is twofold in its meaning. He goes back into history, as verses one through five are history, and explains that the devil came from heaven. He and Christ, (Michael is Christ’s heavenly name), fought for authority. Remember, Jesus (Michael) is God. Lucifer wanted to be “God”. The devil lost and was thrown to the earth. However, Lucifer was still allowed back into Heaven as Earth’s representative. But when Jesus died on the cross, Jesus became Earth’s representative and Lucifer was no longer allowed back into Heaven. Verses 10 through 12 are a song of praise for the devil’s defeat in heaven and a warning to all on the earth to watch out!
Verses 10 through 12 are a song of praise for the devil's defeat and a warning to all on the earth to watch out!
John now continues in his discourse on the woman. Again he goes back to verse six and makes it clearer in verses 13 through 17. The devil will be trying to persecute, destroy and flood out the truth with over population, his deceptive lies, half-truths and government regulations and political correctness. The time of this great persecution would last 1260 days (years). Revelation is picking up the same time concepts that are used by Daniel. 1260 days; time, times and half a time; and 42 months are all the same time period. Both chapters, Revelation 12 and Daniel 7 are talking about the persecution of the church of God during this same time period.
John tells us in Revelation 12 how we know who the true church of God is. In verse 17 he tells us that the true church is the one that obeys, keeps, the Ten Commandments of God and obeys the Testimony: teachings of Jesus. Those who refuse to keep the Ten Commandments and refuse to hold to the teachings of Christ are on the side of the dragon, those who war against the true church of God. 2 John 1:9.