The Church (believers) in the Great Tribulation, and Satan cast down to earth
Revelation 12:1 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:
Revelation 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Revelation 12:3 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.
Now we specifically know who this red dragon is, because later on it tells us exactly in verse 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.”
On each of his heads was a crown, symbolising the seven World Empires. EACH HEAD REPRESENTS A POWER or a different World Empire or Kingdom, obviously all a part of the same Dragon.
In Revelation chapter 17, verses 9 and 10, we learn that the seven heads are seven kings or kingdoms. “Five have fallen”--when John wrote this in about 95 A.D., five great empires centered in the Mideast, the empires of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece, had come and gone--“one is”--the Roman Empire was in power when John wrote this--“and the other”--the Antichrist’s final world empire--“has not yet come.” “And when he comes, he must continue a short time”--the Antichrist’s seven-year reign. So these seven heads are six previous world empires, plus the Antichrist’s empire that is rising now, but not yet in place.
“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour”--a very short time--“as kings with the beast (Antichrist)” (Revelation 17:12). Because these ten kings or powers had “received no kingdom as yet” during John’s day, the time of the sixth head, the Roman Empire, it is obvious that these ten horns are all on the seventh and final head, the Antichrist. “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:13).
God has also pictured the Anti-Christ, the coming World Dictator as a Beast, who gets “…his power, and his seat, and great authority,” from the Dragon (Devil) (Revelation 13:2,4)
Some people have theorized that the Great Red Dragon is Red China, but verse 9 specifically states that Great Red Dragon is the Devil & not Red China.
Revelation 12:4 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.
Obviously this great Red Dragon is SATAN himself who leads a third of the angels out of Heaven with him when he deserts the forces of God!
Revelation 12:5 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.
I think by the time you read this fifth verse you began to catch on who this was & who this Child was. That’s the key, that’s the clue to who the Woman is! “For she brought forth a MAN Child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron!”
NOW THIS IS SOMETHING WHICH THE SCRIPTURE SAYS ABOUT JESUS SEVERAL TIMES, that He is going to come someday & rule the World, rule all nations. He’s going to rule them with a rod of iron by force! So, of course, this obviously is talking about JESUS! “And her Child was caught up unto God, & to His throne.” So Jesus was caught up after His ministry to God & to His throne.
Now some Bible Students suggest that the Woman in verse one is Mary giving birth to Jesus. NOW MARY, AS FAR AS WE KNOW, NEVER LOOKED LIKE THE SUN WITH THE MOON UNDER HER FEET & a crown of twelve stars! So who is this Woman & how come she looks like the sun & has the moon under her feet & has a crown of twelve stars? WELL, THIS WOMAN IS FAR MORE THAN MARY! Mary in a way almost symbolises this Woman, in a way this Woman symbolises Mary, but obviously her description goes far beyond the simple young Jewish girl who had Jesus. This Revelation Woman was far greater & more than just little simple Mary herself!
If it was not literally Mary who brought forth Jesus here, if it was greater & beyond Mary--obviously a great Queen far beyond Mary herself--who then was this Woman who brought forth Jesus into the World & who was then attacked or chased by this great Red Dragon? Obviously this great Red Dragon is SATAN himself as we read in verse 9, who leads a third of the angels out of Heaven with him when he deserts the forces of God! ( See verse 4).
WELL, IF THE WOMAN IS SYMBOLIC & SYMBOLISES SOME GREATER FIGURE THAN JUST MARY HERSELF, WHO COULD THAT BE?
SHE CAN BE NO OTHER THAN THE ENTIRE COMPLETE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END, from the Garden of Eden to the Revelation, from the Beginning to the End of the World, all those who are true believers, who loved God, who received Christ the Messiah as their Saviour, all those who love Jesus, all those who believe He is the Son of God, all those who are married to the Bridegroom, all those who are the Bride of Jesus Christ from the Garden of Eden to the Revelation! SHE IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST! SHE IS PICTURED AS A SYMBOL OF THE CHURCH BRINGING FORTH JESUS INTO THE WORLD. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, then you are a part of this woman, the True Church, the body of believers!
SO WE FIND THIS GREAT RED DRAGON, OBVIOUSLY SATAN—Who’s called the old Serpent, the Devil & Satan in the ninth verse, so we KNOW who he is--& he creates a rebellion in Heaven, a revolution, a civil war as we’ll find out a little bit later here, & he’s cast out of Heaven with a third of the angels & he tries to destroy the Church, he tries to destroy Jesus, & we find then that THIS Woman has to FLEE into the wilderness!
Revelation 12:6 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.
Here we have the 1260 days once again, the three-&-a-half years of the Great Tribulation period! Now one thing that gets some folks mixed up about the Book of Revelation is that it goes back again & again & rehashes the story from a different angle & a different standpoint, a different viewpoint, over & over again. We’ve had the Coming of Christ already described in this Book about three times. But then it goes back & it gives a new angle & a new story!
YOU’VE SEEN MOVIES LIKE THIS SOMETIMES, you’ve seen a movie of some family or various characters on a boat or in a plane or a hotel, & it gives you flashbacks of their former life & where they came from & who they are & how they got there, then finally they all get together in this hotel or they’re all together in this plane crash, or they’re all together in this sinking boat
YOU’VE FOLLOWED THE NARRATION OF EACH LIFE STORY until they’re all headed on a crash course to this grand finale--& that’s like the Book of Revelation! It gives you a picture of each & every segment of the history of man from these different angles & shows you how it’s going to end. We’ve already had the Coming of Christ here in the Book of Revelation!
WELL, IT’S JUST WORKING UP FROM A DIFFERENT STANDPOINT & A DIFFERENT VIEW with different characters & what’s happening to them! In the preceding chapter 11 we just had the death of the two famous Witnesses & their Resurrection & their Rapture to be with the Lord! And yet, now the seventh angel has just blown & we haven’t even heard the whole story yet! Well, it carried things through from this marvellous story here at the end of the eleventh chapter in the first part, the Witnesses, & then the blowing of the seventh or Last Trump, in which it says “the kingdoms of this Earth have become the Kingdoms of God & of His Christ!”
AND NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU’RE GOING BACK TO THE BIRTH OF JESUS AGAIN! Yes, we are, it’s another flashback, like a movie! We’re going back again to the birth of Christ & we’re showing how the Church, in a sense, brought Him forth & He was caught up to Heaven to be with the Lord. And the Church was left behind on the Earth to be chased & persecuted by the Dragon, who’s now furious because he couldn’t get rid of Jesus! He killed Him, but then He came back to life again & went where the Devil couldn’t even touch Him anymore!
BUT THEN IT SPEAKS OF THIS CHURCH IN A PERIOD OF TIME, OF 1260 DAYS (Revelation 11:3)--that’s 42 months (Revelation 13:5) or three-&-a-half years. And what period of time is that that we’ve been studying? The Great Tribulation, and although the Book of Revelation main emphasis is the ENDTIME, it may give you a few flashbacks into the historical background, as it does in this chapter.
THE WOMAN IS GOING TO HAVE TO FLEE INTO THE WILDERNESS FOR THREE-&-A-HALF YEARS TO HIDE FROM THIS GREAT RED DRAGON! And at this time when this Antichrist breaks the Covenant at the end of the first three-&-a-half years & his Image is set up to be worshipped, & commands everybody to be marked with the Mark 666 in their forehead or in their right hand, & the antichrists sits in the Temple of God & says he’s God & makes everybody worship him, & starts persecuting every other religion, including Christians, the Church is going to have to flee into the wilderness. (See Revelation 13:5-7, 14-18; 2 Thessalonians:2:1,3-4)
Even in the midst of this terrible time, the woman is fed and kept safe and away from the Devil in some place called “the wilderness.” What is the wilderness? It seems there will be places set up for refugees throughout the world for many Christians. It is places, apparently, where the Antichrist can’t get to her, where his authority doesn’t seem to extend. It could possibly be a literal wilderness in different places all over the world—a place away from civilization—but it could possibly be symbolic of any place beyond the Antichrist effective reach, such as in developing countries or countries, who will be opposing the Antichrist government & fighting wars against him as brought out in Daniel 11:40-45.
Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Revelation 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Revelation 12:9 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.
At this time Satan is cast out of Heaven with a “third of the stars of Heaven,” these “stars” being his fallen angels who have been in rebellion with him against God and who are now cast down to Earth with him.
Mankind has been in a continual war, even Heaven is at war & has been for thousands of years, ever since even before the World was created! Satan fell before the Creation. Satan was the Archangel of God, the right hand of God. He was the Archangel of Light, Lucifer. In Latin that means “the lightbearer”. But he wasn’t satisfied with being next to God, he wanted to be God! So the Lord had to demote him completely. And how many Angels followed him? A third of the Angels! They’re not cast out of Heaven until the middle of the Antichrist reign, the beginning of the Tribulation.
BUT AT THIS TIME HERE, OBVIOUSLY AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS THREE-&-A-HALF YEARS, 1260 days, 42 months of Great Tribulation period, Satan is cast out of Heaven by Michael & his angels, the Archangel of God who defends US—(see Daniel 12:1) The Devil is cast out with a third of the rebellious angels that follow him down into the Earth for the last three-&-a-half years of Earth’s history!--The Great Tribulation!
NO WONDER THE ANTICHRIST IS SO POWERFUL & SUCH A SUPERMAN & WONDER WORKER, because Satan at last is cast out of Heaven! There’s a purge in Heaven & the rebels & the demons & the devils are cast out!
Do the angels have free will?--Obviously! They are created, supernatural, super-powerful beings, much more powerful than we are, but just like us, God gave them a chance too, God gave them a choice. And when the Devil decided he wanted to be as powerful as God, you have to go back in Isaiah & read it, he wasn’t satisfied being the righthand of God, the Lightbearer, Lucifer, he wanted to be God Himself, so God had to put him down.
ISAIAH14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
ISAIAH 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
ISAIAH 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
ISAIAH 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
ISAIAH 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
ISAIAH 14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
ISAIAH 14:18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
ISAIAH 14:19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
Now back to Revelation 12:10
Revelation 12:10 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.
BUT HE’S NOT CAST OUT YET! See, a lot of people think that happened a long time ago, some people think it happened when Jesus was crucified, some people think it happened way back yonder sometime in the Old Testament or something, but we find him still appearing as one of the sons, in other words stars or angels or creations of God, appearing before God in the Book of Job, one of the oldest books.--And he still does that! It says right here he’s the Accuser of the Saints, that he’s accusing us day & night, all the time! He still has access to be the prosecuting attorney before the Judge, God, to accuse us for our sins. You see? So he’s still Up There! He’s apparently not cast out until the middle of the reign of the Antichrist, right at the beginning of the Tribulation.
“There was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’ Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’” (Job 1:6-12).
ALL THESE CENTURIES, YEA MILLENNIUMS, THOUSANDS OF YEARS, HE’S BEEN ACCUSING THE SAINTS OF GOD! He came before God & accused Noah, he came before God & accused Job, he came before God & he’s accused nearly every person of God that has ever lived! He has accused you day & night before the Lord, bringing up your sins & reminding God of the Law & that you should be punished. He’s the Prosecuting Attorney who demands the EXECUTION of the Law!--AND of the culprit!--YOU!
BUT YOU HAVE AN ADVOCATE, you have a Defense Lawyer, a Defense Attorney, & you know who that is, don’t you?--Jesus Christ, God’s Own Son! God is the Judge, the Devil is the Prosecuting Attorney & Executioner, but Jesus, God’s Son, is your Defense Attorney, your Advocate, your Lawyer defending you. And when the Devil reminds God of all your sins & all your iniquities & your mistakes & your shortcomings & your failures & accuses you for every little flaw & fault he can find, all you have to do is look to your Defense Lawyer, Jesus!
Revelation 12:11 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.
These are those who have remained in the Antichrist’s strongholds to carry out the important job of bringing twin truths¬— salvation in Jesus and the damnation of the Antichrist and his fanatical followers—to those who still want to know where the truth lies. The Antichrist will declare such people to be subversives, outlaws, and enemies of the state because they refuse to kowtow to his devilish tyrannical rule, and he will unleash persecution against them.
But the so-called subversives will win and the Antichrist will lose. As history has shown, though Christians have been viciously persecuted time and again, they have always emerged victorious in the end, while the regimes of their persecutors have been consigned to the dustbin of history. God cares for His people, and they will come through victorious, despite a difficult three and a half years and the most monstrous of enemies
Revelation 12:12 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.
He’s talking about the Tribulation period! He’s talking about only 3-1/2 years! It says “woe to the inhabiters of the Earth” because he’s really mad, he’s got great wrath, he knows he has just a short time!
SO THE DEVIL IN HIS FURY, KNOWING THAT HIS TIME IS SHORT, POSSESSES THIS ANTICHRIST, this Superman, & makes him a Superman, a Devil-man, the Devil in the flesh, Son of Satan, like Jesus was the Son of God in the flesh! He is the great counterfeiter! The Devil doesn’t know anything new, he can’t do anything different, he just watches what God does & he tries to imitate Him.
SO SINCE GOD HAD A SON WHO WAS GOD IN THE FLESH, the Devil has this son, this man, who is the Devil in the flesh, possessed by Satan himself like Jesus was possessed by God! And then the Devil tries to set up on Earth the false Kingdom of God, the false Millennium, only it’s the kingdom of the DEVIL & it’s the kingdom of HELL on Earth instead of the Millennium of HEAVEN!
AND HE EVEN HAS HIS OWN TRINITY! The Devil is the father of his trinity, the Antichrist is his son, & then he has the False Prophet, his UNholy spirit! Here we have the false trinity & he becomes the false Messiah of the false Millennium of the false kingdom of the false people--those who take the Mark of the Beast!--All an imitation of what God is about to do!--A brief & a pitiful horrible imitation!
THE DEVIL TRIES TO IMITATE GOD BECAUSE HE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE GOD, so when he’s cast out of Heaven & he can’t annoy God Himself & God’s angels, then he decides to lord it over the Earth, become the King of this Earth. He has been the prince of the powers of the air, (Ephesians 6:12) but now he becomes the usurper king of THIS World!
Revelation 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
SO LOOK OUT FOR HIS WRATH DURING THESE LAST THREE-&-A-HALF YEARS, these 1260 days, this 42 months of Great Tribulation mentioned throughout many Prophets of God, Old & New Testament prophecies, this Great Tribulation period! Here’s another proof that the Church is HERE throughout the Tribulation, because the Enemy chases her & she flees into the wilderness!
Revelation 12:14 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 true Church, the Bride of Christ, those who have received Jesus as their Saviour.--Here again is the 3-1/2 year period of Tribulation of the Church!--With the Dragon, Satan, cast out of Heaven & persecuting the Church, who has fled to her place for “a time (1 year), times (2 years) & half a time” (1/2 year), 3-1/2 years, “from the face of the serpent!” SHE WAS NOURISHED IN THE WILDERNESS TOO—FED!
They’re not only going to hide you, they’re going to feed you! Of course the Lord could feed you as he did with Moses & the Children of Israel, when He rained down manna & quail. ELIJAH WAS FED BY THE LORD BY RAVENS. They “brought him bread & flesh in the morning, & bread & flesh in the evening.” (1Kings 17:6.) The widow of Zarephath & her son never ran out of their jar of flour & jug of oil when Elijah prophesied, “For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Your jar of flour will not be used up, nor shall your jug of oil run dry, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon this land!” 1 (Kings Chapter 17). The Lord has done many miracles to take care of His people.
Revelation 12:15 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.
Revelation 12:16 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 going to be whole nations, many parts of the Earth that are going to help you & hide you. It says so right here! The dragon spews out a flood to try to drown the woman, but the earth opens up and swallows the flood, and the woman is saved for now. What could this flood be? We know the Devil is a liar. In fact, Jesus called him the father of lying. “There is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). So if the Devil is living up to his reputation, then this flood could well be a flood of lies and propaganda against the woman.
Revelation 12:17 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.
In spite of everything he still keeps pursuing us, makes war with us, & with those “which keep the commandments of God & have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Who are the seed of the woman? He’s particularly going to be out to anyone who loves Jesus & is a part of His Bride!
ARE YOU READY FOR THESE GREAT & FINAL EVENTS OF THE END? You can get ready now by receiving Jesus into your heart! Simply pray this little prayer & He will come in: “Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God & that You died for me. Please forgive me for all my sins. I ask You, Jesus, to please come into my heart & give me Your free Gift of Eternal Life!