Now we are going to meet a cast of characters including the emerging of the antichrist which will herald the last 3 1/2 years of the great tribulation.
First we are going to look at the Woman (this woman is Mary, but is also Israel, for Jesus was descended from the tribe of David).
The first description of the woman is in verse 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. The 12 stars seem to imply the twelve tribes of Israel. We are going to see the enemy come against Israel in a big way, and even today we see anti-Semitism very rampant in our world. Here we will see the dragon coming to try and destroy the woman.
In order to understand this desire to destroy her, it would be helpful to head back to the beginning of the Bible – Genesis to see the source of the hatred for the woman and child.
In Genesis 2 Adam and Eve were created, and given God’s instructions. with the serpent coming into the scene and shedding doubt, calling God a liar by telling Eve she would not die in the day she ate the forbidden fruit, but would know good and evil. Up until that time Adam and Eve only knew good for they talked and walked with God. This act of disobedience was the entry of sin into the world. And unfortunately they did die within a day if you count days as God does, a day is as a thousand years. No one in the Bible has lived on the earth more than 1000 years, and Adam and Adam died at 930 years.
When they sinned against God, they were sent out of the Garden of Eden and away from the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (we will see a reappearance of the tree of life in Revelation). This was a loving gesture of God, because had Adam and Eve eaten of the tree of life they would have heaped sin upon sin, they would have suffered physical repercussions of sin and never found a way out.
In Genesis 3:15 we see God’s plan for the redemption of the earth from the sin of Adam and Eve – I will put enmity between you (satan) and the woman between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
In basic anatomy we learn that the man has the seed, not the woman who has an egg, yet God is talking about the woman’s seed. This shows that she will not be impregnated by a man and we will see in Matthew that she is impregnated by the Holy Spirit. And that her child – Jesus will destroy satan. So, from the beginning of time as we know it, satan’s plan has been to destroy Israel where Jesus was going to come. He made a good attempt after Jesus was born by having Herod kill all the male children, but did not manage to kill Jesus, then he arranged for Jesus’ crucifixion, but Jesus rose from the dead. Now satan has been working on destroying Israel, for if there is no Israel the prophesies would not be fulfilled of Jesus coming to rescue Jerusalem in the second coming. We have seen the dispersion of the Jews, Hitler, and now the troubles in Israel of today. In fact, we know God is working on this, because no other nation in the world has ever been re-established after such a dispersion that Israel faced. Their language is again spoken in the land. No other decimated culture has ever re-established a religion. We do not have any Amelkites, Hittites, Philistines, etc. But Israel has come back to the land, the land is flourishing, and the stage is set for the second coming.
Regarding the 12 stars standing for the tribes of Israel, we can look at Genesis 37:9-11 the dream of Joseph, 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. (Joseph would be the 12th star) 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?” And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in his mind.
Back to Revelation 12:2 – then the woman gave birth to the child (Jesus)
There are many books on astronomy (not astrology) that point out the kinds of happenings in the sky during the time of Jesus’ birth. One such idea is that the star Regulus (a kingly star) moved into the constellation Virgo.
In Verse 3 we see another sign in the heavens, that of a great, fiery dragon (which we will later see is satan) having 7 heads, 10 horns, and 7 diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars (angels) of heaven and threw them down to earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, do devour her child before it was born.
Oh there is so much in this verse for it brings to mind many prophesies. Daniel 7:7-8 which I will quote, but probably describe in greater detail later on in this chapter. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
Also Daniel 2 talks about the image that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed – a beast which had ten toes partly of iron and clay, and talks about the different parts of the image as different kingdoms of the world. (again I will explain in more detail later).
Isaiah 21 talks about the fall of Babylon, and the fall of satan. Isaiah 14 talks about the fall of lucifer and how he came to fall so low. In verses 12-17 he is fallen from heaven and has weakened nations. Lucifer said in his 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 furthest 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.” And satan’s final destination will be the lake of fire.
Lucifer and the fallen angels (stars) are now walking around the earth and the heavenlies seeking to devour and destroy like a roaring lion (of course because of Jesus he has no teeth to hurt believers), and yet he also has access to Heaven – as shown in Job when satan talks with God. Remember that satan is the accuser of the brethren, and he is still at that distasteful job today.
In Revelation 12:4 we see that satan was waiting to devour the male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. (We will later see that this is a description of Jesus who will rule during the millennium with a rod of iron). He sought to destroy Jesus through the killing of babies, the crucifixion, and now he is trying to destroy Israel and interfere with God’s prophecies. This is all a last ditch attempt on satan, who is the loser in this battle.
The woman flees (verse 6) to the wilderness, to a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there 1,260 days (3 1/2 years – the last three and 3 1/2 years of Revelation.
Remember that not only is the woman Mary (who gave birth to Jesus) but Israel, the nation, which gave birth to Jesus. God will protect Israel – preserve his remnant. He has always kept a remnant of his people.
Remember how I mentioned that the stars that were cast down to earth were fallen angels. This is clearly sen in verses 7-12 of Revelation 12. Which adds more information to Isaiah 14.
That is what I LOVE about the Bible, with digging, reading and studying, we get to see more and more, and more. There is no end to the depth of knowledge in the Bible, and to think at one point I thought the Bible was insipid (sigh).
In Revelation 12:7-12 we see that there was a war in heaven – Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and his angels. There was no place for the dragon and his angels in heaven anymore – he was cast out. Here is the description of the dragon that lets us know it is satan, verse 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.
And a voice from heaven says, “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.
How is satan overcome? By the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. But alas, verse 12 says, 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.
Last night we were discussing end times things in our discipleship class. Tomorrow I am going to share a list of things mentioned in Matthew 24 and 25 that detail end times indicators, you will be surprised at how many of them have come true so far, more than at any other period in time.
Satan knows he has a short time, and we can see that in what is going out over the airwaves, the movies, the “wicked weather” as our tv channel calls the increase in bad weather patterns.
The dragon, being cast to earth, persecutes the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male Child.
The serpent will spew water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, so that she would be carried away in the flood, but the earth will swallow it up. The dragon will be enraged at the woman, and make war on the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus (the believers who are on earth who have come to Christ after the rapture).
Numbers 16 talks about the earth swallowing up the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abrim, and they went down to the pit, and the earth closed over them. Sometimes water in Revelation refers to nations (we will see that mentioned later) and those people who come against Israel God will destroy, he uses the earth, fire from heaven, and diseases to protect his people.
In Exodus 19 we see a reference to the wings of an eagle in verse 4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.
God is seeking to bring the woman, Israel to himself. He will protect the remnant, during the final days of the tribulation. Oh pray for the peace of Jerusalem, God will honor those who honor Israel.
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