Revelation commentary: chapter 12 - the dragon and the man child

by Don Koenig

 

This is another informational chapter from the little book that John digested. This information is about Israel and her Messiah and Satan’s attempt to stop the kingdom of God from being set up on the earth.

 

 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:

 

The woman represents Israel. Symbolic scripture in heaven is always interpreted by other scripture. Genesis explains who the sun, moon and stars represent in the verse above.

 

Gen 37: 9  And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10  And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

Jacob (Israel) probably rebuked Joseph because Joseph was arrogant and he misunderstood. The dream was not just prophetic about what would happen in his own life. Jacob and Rachel never bowed in worship to Joseph. Rachel died long before Joseph became a ruler in Egypt. The dream was a similitude of Joseph representing the Messiah that would come.

There are hundreds of other similitude's in the story of Joseph that point to the Messiah that would come. The Messiah will rule over Jacob, Rachel and all descendants of Israel. Jacob and his eleven brothers did come before Joseph in Egypt but I do not believe Jacob ever bowed in worship to his son. Therefore, in the dream the important thing to grasp is that the sun represented Jacob, the moon represented Rachel and the eleven stars represented Joseph's brothers. Together with Joseph, they represented the whole house of Israel.

Now that we have seen what scripture says about the sun, moon and stars we can discern the symbolic wonder that John sees: 

This woman that John sees symbolized in heaven is true Israel. It is the people that descended from Jacob (Israel) that have stayed faithful to Jehovah. John sees Israel symbolized in heaven as a woman. She is clothed with the sun and moon because those in her are descendants from Jacob and Rachel (The sun and moon in the Genesis passage above). Like their parents, the chosen tribes of Israel are clothed with special revelation (light) from God and reflect His glory. The crown with twelve stars that is on her head represents the twelve brethren apostles from the twelve tribes of Israel that were chosen to rule over the twelve tribes of Israel and that laid the foundations for the new covenant Church.

Mat 9:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

Catholics claim that the woman in this passage is Mary the “queen of heaven”. There simply is no foundation for such an assumption in scripture. This belief simply comes by interpretation of scripture through prejudiced supercession theology and the idolization of Mary. The “queen of heaven” was always a pagan god in the scriptures and she is not the real Mary of scripture. The worship of the Madonna and child actually goes back to the time of Nimrod and Babylon. Nimrod and his wife Semiramis supposedly had a supernatural child called Tammuz. Tammuz allegedly was gored to death by a wild boar and came back to life. He and his mother were actively worshiped in ancient times in many cultures. The Romans called them Venus and Cupid and the Greeks called them Aphrodite and Eros. These two demonic gods are still popular names with some today.

Either Catholics are still doing pagan Babylonian practices or they have allowed pagan Babylonian practices to be Christianized. Even if the latter were true, in effect it is doing the same thing because they have put Mary in the place of Jesus who is the only mediator between God and man (1 Ti 2:5).

There simply is no scriptural support for placing the human mother of Jesus as the intercessor between man and her Son. She had to be saved “by faith” in the work of her Son on the cross for forgiveness of her sins like everyone else. Scripture says that John the Baptist was the greatest born of woman, not Mary, and Jesus chose twelve male apostles to lay the foundation of the Church. When Jesus was crucified, Jesus put Mary under John’s care and not the other way around. This adoption of this Babylonian practice has obviously led to serious heresy but in addition it has led to incorrect interpretation of this passage in Revelation for a billion Catholics on earth today. The Bible speaks of the “queen of heaven”  but when it does she is always a demon!

Jer 7:18  The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

 

Jer 44:17  But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.

Jer 44:18  But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.

Jer 44:19  And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?

 

Jer 44:25  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.

 

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

First, the King must be born and must take possession of His kingdom. The Child from Israel that pained to be delivered was the promised Messiah that we know as Jesus.

 

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.

 

This other wonder in heaven is the Devil. Scripture also defines this symbol. The verse makes it clear that the dragon is synonymous with Satan and the Devil. In the book of Daniel and later in this book we will see a Beast with seven heads and ten horns that will deceive the whole world. The seven heads represent world kingdoms with kings under the control of Satan and the ten horns represent ten end time world leaders that Satan will control in the last Gentile world empire called “Babylon the Great” This is further defined by Daniel and in chapter 17 and 18 of Revelation.

Rev 17:10  And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

 

Dan 7:24  And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

 

Rev 17:12  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

 

4  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Stars sometimes are used as symbols for angels. This verse is talking about the fall of Satan and his angels. Satan apparently led a third of the angels in heaven in a rebellion against God. The earth may be the place in the universe where God choose to create beings made in his own image that would replace the fallen angels. Satan deceived Adam and Eve so that they sinned and became enslaved to him through sin and death. When Adam sinned and died the stewardship of the earth given to him was placed under the administration of angels until under God’s law a kinsman redeemer is found.

The child the dragon was ready to devour as soon as He was born was Jesus. Satan tried to stop the “kinsman redeemer Messiah” from coming from the Adamic race.  In this passage Satan is ready to devour the Messiah as soon as He was born. This occurred when King Herod sent out the order to kill all infants under two years old in Bethlehem. He did this because the wise men from the East told him the Messiah was prophesized to be born at Bethlehem at the time the star was seen.

Satan failed to stop the Messiah from fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies when Joseph was warned by an angel in a dream to flee to Egypt with the child. Later when the child was grown He directly appealed to the Father Himself and no one could take His life from Him. He freely laid down His life for us at the time appointed by the Father to pay the price for the salvation of mankind. The scriptures record several times that some did try to kill Him but they could not. Satan’s continual failure to thwart God’s plan allowed the Son of Man to pay the blood price as kinsman redeemer for the human race at the cross.

 

5  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

 

Only one person will rule the world with a rod of iron according to scripture. That person is Jesus (Rev 19:15 - Psa 2:9). Some say the Church is also seen in this passage because we are the body of Christ and are raised up with Him to rule and reign with Him. The Church is not a man child, she is a woman. It should be clear the primary focus of this verse is the birth of King Jesus for without Him we would all be caught down to hell, not up to His throne.

 

Heb 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

 

 

6  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

 

We have already defined that the woman is Israel. If there is still any doubt about who the woman is this verse tells us she flees into the wilderness for 1,260 days which is the same length of time the Beast Antichrist will have power on earth. Correlation of prophetic Bible passages in Daniel, Revelation and the Olivet discourse by Jesus make it abundantly clear that the remnant of Israel is told to flee into the wilderness for this same period of time after the defilement of their temple. Elect Israel will flee at the mid point of a seven year covenant that a world leader will confirm.

 

Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

 

The 1,260 days is the time when Michael the archangel stands up for Israel to protect her from Satan. This will be the worst time on earth the world will ever know.

 

Dan 12:1  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

 

What the verse above is saying, is that God will protect those that obey Him and flee to the mountains. They are told to do this when they see the desecration of the holy place foretold by Daniel the prophet and also by Jesus in His Olivet discourse. The area of protection will be in the mountains of Jordan in the area of the cliff city of Petra. The people there will be fed manna and they will get water out of a rock just like the Israelites in Exodus did for forty years.

 

Mar 13:14  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

 

 

 7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

 8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

 

Michael is commander of the angels that did not rebel against God. In Daniel we are told that Michael is also the angel that watches over Israel. In these last days there is a war in heaven and Michael and his angels fight against Satan and his angels. Satan and his angels are cast out of the heaven.

 

Some think Satan was long ago cast out of heaven but there are several passages in scriptures that indicate that Satan still has access to God and accuses us before the Father continually. That is why Jesus is our advocate before the Father until the time when Satan no longer has this access.

 

The casting out of Satan, the desecration of the temple and the killing of the two prophets will all happen very quickly probably on the same day. That is why Jesus warns Israel to not get anything out of the house but to get out of town as fast as they can. By reading only the prior verses you might think that Satan is cast out after the woman flees but verse 13 clarifies this by saying after the Devil sees he is cast out He persecutes the woman (Israel). One thing should be clear; since Satan is cast out here he could not have been cast out at the fifth trumpet when the star fell from heaven with the key to open the bottomless pit. Now that Satan is cast out, he has 3 ½ years to work through his Beast and his False Prophet. After that period, Jesus will deal with the Beast and then set up his own kingdom on earth.

 

9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

 

This passage defines who the dragon is. I have heard a well known author say the Devil and Satan are different beings but this passage should make it crystal clear that the dragon, the Devil and Satan are the same. The Devil is not just an evil force or influence as some might think. A specific being was cast out into the earth and the angels that fought with him were also cast out with him. We read in prior verses in this chapter that the number is a third of all the stars (angels). I do not know how many that is but I think it is safe to assume that many millions of angels will be cast out to the earth. These are beings with incredible power. People on earth will think that the gods have come to earth. This will lead to the great deception. The millions of other angels that were cast out either will have their own bodies or will possess human ones (maybe this is the real “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”). It will be an incredible time for all those living on the earth.

 

This verse also tells us about Satan’s nature. He is the deceiver of the whole earth. He is a counterfeit god. His work of deception can be seen from his deception in the Garden of Eden until his last deception at the end of the thousand year reign.

 

 10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

 

There is a loud voice from heaven announcing that it is time for the Kingdom of God and the power of His Christ. Satan is cast down; Satan obviously had access to God before he was cast out because in this passage it tells us that he was the accuser of the brethren before God. He could not do that if he did not have access to the throne of God. Other passages in scripture also verify that Satan appeared before God and that he patrolled the earth to report to God (Job 1:6, 2:1). Now we see that Satan has been judged by God and cast down to earth.

 

Those who overcame the devil did so by the blood of Jesus, by their testimony and by dying for their faithfulness to Jesus even at the cost of their natural lives.

 

12   Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

 

When the devil is cast out of heaven he will come with great wrath against humans. He knew from the start that humans were created to replace his angels. He did everything he could to keep the human race from qualifying. Even after the Messiah came he tried to deceive Him into using His divine powers to disqualify Him as a human and as mankind’s kinsman redeemer (Mat 4:1-11).

 

Now that Satan has lost the battle in heaven he will use his angels to deceive and destroy mankind on earth. He will be very aware that Jesus is about to return with His saints in a very short time and he will do everything in his power to give Him a planet with no one alive. Jesus Himself said, unless those days be shortened no flesh would be saved but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened (Mat 24:22). Satan will make Jews the scapegoats and the focal point to lead mankind to its own destruction.

 

In verse 12 there is only one woe mentioned by the angel because the other two are now over with. The third woe lasts the entire second half of Daniel’s final week of years. The third woe will span a 3 ½ year period. It will start with the persecution of all mankind who will not worship the Beast as God and it will end with the seven vial judgments from God.

 

13  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

 

The woman as we saw is Israel and the man child Israel produced is the Messiah Jesus. When Satan is cast unto the earth He will persecute the woman who brought forth the Messiah in the flesh. He will persecute Israel and eventually all the Gentiles that claim that Israel’s Messiah is Lord.

 

14  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

 

The faithful of Israel will flee into the wilderness to a place where God will protect them for 3 ½ years. No one really knows if the great eagle will be a natural airlift or a supernatural airlift. God will provide for Israel as he did in the days of Exodus. As I said, those in the wilderness of Jordan will eat manna and get water out of a rock. The timeline for Satan is given in verses 13 and 14. He is cast out unto the earth just before Israel flees. She is protected by Michael in the wilderness for 3 ½ years or 1,260 days. (A time is a year, times is two years, and a half time is ½ a year = 3 ½ years. The 1,260 days is given to us in verse 6.) The world will be under almost total control by Satan and his millions of angels for this same 42 month time period (Rev 13:5).

 

 

15  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

 

There are a couple of schools of thought about this verse. Some think the flood is a tidal wave from the sea and some think it is a huge army of Gentiles. I think it may be both. I believe a great rift will open and swallow the tidal wave and the rift will also prevent the armies of the Beast from reaching the remnant of Israel.

 

17  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Satan and his angels cannot touch the woman being protected in the mountains of Jordan so he will declare war on all descendants of natural Israel and all who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ all over the earth. This includes those who identified themselves as Christians in the “left behind” apostate World Church who will not renounce Jesus and take the mark of the Beast.

 

Up until this point the world religion harlot is riding the Beast and controlling the direction of world events but after Satan is cast out to the earth and becomes a counterfeit god he will turn on the harlot of world religion and burn her with fire. This is spoken about in detail in chapter 17.

 

Here we see that all who confess Jesus or Jehovah and believe the truths in the Bible will become the targets of Satan.


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