Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Revelation - Chapter 13

Chapter 13
The Rise of Antichrist. 13:1-10.

The career of Satan has been a long and infamous one. But from the very moment he lifted his head in pride against God, his goal has always been the same.

Lucifer wants to be God. He was not happy with being a beautiful angel. His jealousy of God turned ambition into rebellion.

He said, “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: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isa. 14:13-14).

Since Satan’s ambition to be God is impossible, he attempts the next best thing. Satan imitates God and by doing so deceives people into believing he is God. This is what he did through the Pharaoh’s magicians. This is what he is doing today in leading so many unsuspecting people into satanic cults and the worship of demons.

But it is during the dark days of the Tribulation that Satan will be most successful in imitating God.  In fact, during this period of judgment upon the earth Satan will produce a counterfeit trinity.

This evil trinity will be composed of Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
Satan is the opposite of God the Father and occupies His position in the evil trinity. Revelation 12:9 reveals that Satan is a great fiery monster, brilliant, formidable, a great dragon (Ezk 28:12).

He is that old serpent who introduced sin into the world (Gen. 3:1). He is a deceiver, slanderer, accuser of the brethren. He is the devil (Rev. 12:9). He is Satan, the adversary of God and His people (Zech. 3:1).

And by feigning the Trinity of the Most Hold God, Satan deceives the whole world, being a liar right from the beginning and the father of the lie (Jn. 8:44). Through deception, trickery and just plain lying, Satan makes himself out to be God the Father.

1. ¶ And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 

In Revelation 13 the other two members of this false trinity are introduced. As Satan is the false-Father, verse 1 depicts the rise of the false Son, the false Christ. This beast is a man (who very well could be alive today), for he is expressly called a man in verse 18 of this chapter and is treated as a man in other Scriptures (Dan 7:8; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Rev. 19:19-20).

He is said to arise out of the sea, an expression which signifies the Gentile nations.
This false Christ or Antichrist is described as a king (17:10-11). However, the Beast is more than a man, more than a king. He is also a kingdom. The seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns speak of a kingdom. 

The ten horns are identified as ten kings in 17:12; yet they are united in one beast. In other words, the Antichrist represents a confederation of ten kingdoms or countries. 

Since a similar description is given in Daniel 7:7-8, this beast’s kingdom must be the revived Roman Empire. Ancient Rome was built on seven hills, represented by the seven heads.

There is no better way to signify an empire than with the symbol of its king (Dan. 7:7, 17, 23).

2. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 

Further confirmation that the Antichrist’s kingdom is the revival of the Roman Empire is seen in verse 2. The description of the false Christ as like unto a leapoard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion is very meaningful. 

In Daniel chapter 2, and again in the vision of Daniel chapter 7, the prophet Daniel saw four great successive world empires: the lion, referring to Babylon; the bear referring to Medo-Persia; the leopard, referring to the Grecian Empire; and the last great empire, which took the dominant elements and characteristics of the first three and combined them in itself. The qualities of strength, brutality, and swiftness were all present in the final empire, the Roman Empire.

3. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 

So closely identified are the ruler and his kingdom that verse 3 speaks of one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

The meaning could be twofold. In order to deceive the world into believing that he is Christ, the Antichrist may receive a deathblow. Since it is questionable whether Satan can actually raise a person from the dead, the Antichrist probably only pretends to be dead and then rises again, deceiving people into believing that he is an authentic savior.

But the primary meaning here is that of the kingdom, not the king. This verse signifies that the Roman Empire, although apparently dead, will be revived in order to provide the Antichrist with a base of operations, a kingdom, a throne, and great authority.

4. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 

At this eventful point in history, Satan will receive something he has always wanted. Through his man, the Antichrist, whom he makes the ruler of the world, Satan will receive worship and praise. Satan takes credit for the miraculous phenomena which take place during the Tribulation. Unable to explain them, the people of the earth believe Satan’s lie, given to the world through the Antichrist, and fall down and worship them both.

They cry, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
The unique character of the Beast and his might make the people stare in awe. These same individuals were confronted with the unique character of Jesus Chirst and His might before the Rapture and yet they did not believe. Now they believe without reservation in Satan and Antichrist.

Not everyone, however, will worship the imposter Christ. Verse 8 indicates the saved of this period will stand true to God the Father and God the Son even though it means death for many of them.


5. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 

In the Trinity of God, Jesus Christ came to earth and spoke the words of God, revealing the thoughts and mind of God. So too the second person of this evil trinity will be the spokesman for Satan.

Antichrist’s message is not his own but rather that of Satan. Unlike the true Christ, who spoke in praise of God the Father and provided the basis for peace with God by shedding His own blood, the activities of the false Christ will be greatly blasphemous, and he will engage in war.

6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 

Notice what Antichrist will blaspheme. His main target is God but he also pours out venomous blasphemy against the house of God and the children of God. We won’t even be safe from slander when we get to heaven. However, these satanic blasphemies against us can’t harm us, safe in the arms of Jesus.


7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 

Satan continues to use Antichrist by giving him the power of civil authority to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Those who stand true for the faith during the Great Tribulation will have no civil liberties and will be viciously attacked by the Antichrist and killed in the name of the empire.

During this period born-again believers will be persecuted and murdered much as they were in the second century under the original Roman Empire.

That Antichrist is a world ruler is evident from the fact that his power will be over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Undoubtedly he will be gathering power throughout the first half of the Tribulation but will not receive world rulership until he breaks the covenant of peace with Israel (Dan. 9:27). Then, acting as the tool of Satan, the Beast will wage all-out war against Israel and the saints of God throughout the entire globe and will overcome them (Dan. 7:25; 9:27; 12:10; Rev. 7:9-17).
In the will of the Father, many believers will perish as martyrs while others are preserved alive in spite of all the blasphemy and war of the impostor Christ.

8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 

9. If any man have an ear, let him hear. 

That will be the heyday of Satan. He will receive praise and worship. He will envision himself as God. The second person of this evil trinity will speak forcefully, for Satan and the majority of the world will fall in line against God and those who represent Him on earth.

The dream of world conquest by the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman Empires will now, for the first time, be realized completely under the reign of Satan and Antichrist.
A counterfeit millennium will be instituted. All of this is permitted by God in a final display of Satan’s evil.

10. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. 

The picture is dark indeed, but if we look a little farther down the road John writes…Read Rev. 15:2.

God will permit Satan to force his counterfeit trinity on this earth for a while, but He won’t permit it forever. As always in history, God’s children are promised and assured of ultimate victory.


The last half of Rev. 13 records John’s vision of the third member of the trinity of evil. The dragon (Satan) is the antitheses of God the Father. The first beast, the Beast out of the Sea (Antichrist), is the antitheses of God the Son. 

Now another beast arises (False Prophet) and is the antithesis of God the Spirit. As the heavenly Trinity is made up of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, this counterfeit, hellish trinity is made up of three persons: Satan, Antichrist, and False Prophet.

The appearance of the second beast out of the earth is far less pretentious than the first. Instead of seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns, this beast has only two horns. There are a number of ways in which this impostor poses as the counterpart of the Spirit of God.

11. ¶ And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 

First, note that this beast appears on the scene like a lamb.

He is not a lamb, but appears like a lamb. If he were a lamb, we would think him an impostor of Jesus Christ. But since he appears like a lamb, he imitates the Spirit of Christ.

As the Holy Spirit produces Christlikeness in us, this False Prophet will produce Antichristlikeness in the lives of those who worship the Beast.

12. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 

Second, note that he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.

You will recall our Lord’s command, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Lk 24:49).

That promised power came in the person of the Holy Spirit. 

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” Acts 1:8.

Whenever the Spirit of God is mentioned in Scripture, He is always associated with power. During the Great Tribulation the False Prophet imitates the Holy Spirit by exerting the power of Antichrist.

Third, verse 12 continues.  The aim of the second beast is to promote of the second beast is to promote the worship of Antichrist. At no time in his career does he promote himself.
This is true with the Holy Spirit. He causes men and women to worship Jesus Christ. He does not attract attention to Himself, but always points to Christ.

Those who place an overemphasis on the baptism and work of the Spirit of God defeat His own purpose.

Jesus Christ came to give life; the Holy Spirit is come to teach, comfort, and point men to Christ. Likewise, the False Prophet does not seek attention but seeks to divert attention to the Antichrist.

13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 

Fourth, we learn from verse 13 that the second beast is associated with great wonders and fire. Again and again the Holy Spirit is associated with fire. When the Spirit came upon the church at Pentecost, “there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:2-3).

This verse shows his power and what he uses to deceive men. Demons can cause sickness, even death. Demons can heal and speak in tongues. They can throw their voices as Satan did in the Garden of Eden when the snake talked.

Snakes, healing and demons have always been connected in some way. Aesuhapius is the god of healing and also the god of snakes. The Egyptian word for demons and snakes is exactly the same word. They have always been connected and tongue speaking is either psychological or demon possession.

Jesus never spoke in an unknown tongue.

14. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 

This verse describes how they are going to put that statue up in the temple of Jerusalem.
The beast here is the dictator of the revived Roman empire.

“Saying to them that dwell…” speaks of the making of a statue of the dictator of the revived Roman empire and placing it in the temple in Jerusalem.

“Which had the wound by a sword” speaks of the fall of the old Roman empire in 476 when the Germans came in and captured their emperor Romulus Augustus and caused the empire to crumble. Notice the empire was not dead, just wounded.

“And did live” – speaks of the revival of the old Roman empire. The wound was healed.

15. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 

The final way in which the False Prophet imitates the Holy Spirit is found in verse 15. As Satan’s religious leader during the Tribulation, the False Prophet will issue an ecclesiastical edict commanding that an image of the Beast be made. This will become the focal point of their false system of worship.

The dictator of Palestine had the power from Satan to cause the statue of the dictator of the revived Roman empire to speak. He caused life to come into the statue.

Those who do not bow down and worship the statue will be killed.

This is the religion of the Tribulation.

Religion is man trying to reach God in his own strength. Christianity is God reaching man.

Those who don’t worship the image will be killed, and only people who will not be deceived are believers and they will be killed.

This statue will speak and this frightens the people. The devil has always tried to use scare tactics, he tries to make people think he is God.

16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 

Here we study the “mark of the beast”.   This is religion at its worst. Here is the loss of freedom.  This is what happens when church and state unite.

The mark of the beast is in the right hand or on the forehead.  It may be an invisible mark, similar to the stamp they use today to enter many theme parks.  The mark is invisible to the naked eye, but when placed under a certain type of light, it becomes visible.

Also similar to food, shoe, tire, and gas stamps used in America during World War II.  It is like a ration card.

This shows how the anti-Christ will control the people and he will control them.  Many believers will starve to death and that is exactly what religion does. We have seen in India for years what religion will do to people, worshiping the cow and monkey. 

This mark will be received by those who fall down and worship the statue.

17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 

This means starvation everywhere. Those who don’t receive the mark cannot buy or sell food. No food business men unless they receive the mark.

“Or the name of the beast” – may be some type of visible card that must be carried.

“Or the number of his name” – the number of this dictator is 666. It is given in verse 18.

Six is short of seven, short of God. Six can never be seven.

18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Here we have the number of the beast.

The mark is some sort of identification card or stamp.

Where did this come from? It was originally an identification card for a Roman soldier. After he had completed his intense basic training, he received a brand on his hand. The word mark was used and placed on him, and he would wear it the rest of his life. It was a mark of pride and denoted great sacrifice. This was a graduation certificate which they proudly wore, showing they had passed through basic training.

The word mark came to mean any system of identification.

In the Tribulation, the mark was used to show who was in the system and who was not. The mark became some sort of I.D. card in order to have social survival. It was a ration system.
Without the mark in the Tribulation, you cannot buy food, engage in business, be elected to public office or be accepted socially.

Those who do not possess this mark of identification, will starve to death or be killed.
To receive the mark, you must fall down and worship the beast in the temple of Jerusalem.
The devil has always wanted to be worshiped (Matt. 4:1-11).

No one can have shelter, own property, buy food or have any of the necessities of life without receiving the mark of the beast.

There were three ways to qualify:
1.      Have the mark.
2.      Have the name of the beast.
3.      Have the number of the beast.

If you are not a Christian, let me encourage you to be saved today. Don’t take a chance on living until tomorrow. Christ may come tonight, tomorrow may begin the terrible days of the Tribulation.

Just remember that the saved of our age will be with Christ during the Tribulation period. The Tribulation period will be a terrible and ruthless time in human history.

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Revelation Chapter 12

War is an ugly word. None of us even likes to think of it, for we have experienced too much of it. Yet war seems to be a fact of life because sin is a fact of life.  Chapter 12 describes the outbreak of war, past, present and future.

This war first takes place on earth (vs. 1-6), then in heaven (vs. 7-12), and finally back on earth again (vs. 13-17).

In Revelation chapters 12 and 13, we have the unholy alliance.  It is made up of Satan, the beast out of the sea, who is the ruler of the revived Roman empire, and the beast out of the land, who is the dictator of Palestine.

For a preliminary study of Satan, turn to Ezekial 28 and Isaiah 14.

EZEKIEL 28:11, 12 “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.”

A.       “Son of man” is simply a title for the prophet. The phrase “King of Tyrus” simply refers to a king who was possessed with Satan, and the things that are said to this king are really said to Satan.
B.        “Thou sealest up the sum” means that Satan was created with perfect proportions. It refers to beauty in terms of symmetry.  Satan was the most beautiful creation that ever came from the hand of God.
C.       “Full of wisdom” means that Satan was a perfect genius. Satan is the smartest creature God ever created.
D.       “Perfect in beauty” refers to the fact that Satan was the most beautiful one God ever created. Satan is almost beyond human comprehension in beauty.  Satan was the most beautiful of all the angels. (Satan is not as we usually picture him, dressed in red with horns and a pitchfork in his hand.)

EZEKIEL 28:13 “Thou has been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.”

A.    This refers to a garden that existed long before the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1. This is a description of the clothing of Satan. These are the same stones as found in the breastplate of the high priest. They will be found in the building of the New Jerusalem and are found here in Satan’s headquarters.

B.     “Tabrets and … pipes” refer to the fact that Satan has the most beautiful voice of all God’s creation. Satan was possibly the best public speaker of all time and in his way, he persuaded one third of the angels to side with him.

EZEKIEL 28:14 “Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou was upon the holy mountain of God; thou has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”

A.    Satan is called “The Messianic Cherub.” He was originally the guardian angel of Jesus Christ. He had access to the throne room of God. Christ personally appointed him to this office.
B.     “Walked up and down” means Satan had access to Heaven. He lived in the presence of God.
EZEKIAL 28:15 “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

A.    “Thou wast perfect in all thy ways until.” The word until explains that there came a time when the relationship was broken.
B.     “Iniquity was found in thee” explains Satan’s sin. The five “I wills” of Satan are described in Isaiah 14.
C.    So this is the first fall of Satan and describes his negative volition. Please notice Satan was created perfect and fell.

EZEKIEL 28:16 “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”

A.    Here we have the second and third falls of Satan outlined.
B.     “Multitude of thy merchandise” refers to the fact that Satan had a plan for destroying man and the universe.
C.    “I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God” refers to the second fall of Satan and it occurs in the middle of the Tribulation. This is why the second half of Tribulation is called “The Great Tribulation.” Revelation 12:7-9 describes this second fall of Satan.
D.    “I will destroy thee” refers to the third fall of Satan, and this comes at the end of time at the great judgement throne of God.

EZEKIEL 28:17 “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”

In this verse, we are given an explanation of why the falls occurred. Satan fell the first time because of pride and because of mental attitude sins. This is a summary of that fall. This verse also explains that angels and Satan were clothed with light.

EZEKIEL 28:18 “Thou has defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude on thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.”
Here is the third fall of Satan. Millions of angels bought Satan’s plan and fell with him. Revelation 20:10 describes this final act of Satan being cast into the final hell.
Let us turn now to Isaiah 14.

ISAIAH 14:12 “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!
This is describing the second fall of Satan. (Also in Revelation 12:9-11.) Please notice, one thing Satan does is weaken the nations. He does this by internationalism, socialism and communism. Satan is against nations and he does his best to destroy them.

In verses 13 and 14, we have the five “I wills” of Satan and notice that it is mental attitude sins that started all the trouble. Each time Satan said, “I will” it was negative volition.

ISAIAH 14:13, 14 “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: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

1.      “I will ascend into heaven” means to take over God’s throne.
2.      “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” Stars of God are angels and Satan was planning to take all angels away from God.
3.      “Sit also upon the mount of the congregation” refers to ruling the world.
4.      “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds” refers to ruling all mankind.
5.      “I will be like the most High” means that he will take God’s place.
This is the description of the first fall of Satan.

ISAIAH 14:15 “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
This is the third fall of Satan. So in these verses in Isaiah, we have a short explanation of Satan’s attempt to take over the universe.

1.      The world. This refers to the mental attitude of the person who has human viewpoint.
2.      The flesh. This is the old sin nature.
3.      The devil. This is the person called the devil.
Satan tries to exalt self and control God. He tries to counterfeit God. Satan tries to get men to act independently of God. He is the ruler of this world. He took it away from man.
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:31).

“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).

“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11). He is the prince of the power of the air.

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph 2:2). Satan is the god of this age.

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:4). Satan tries to disrupt the dispensational pattern of God. He is the chief enemy of the Christian. He is the first creature that ever rebelled against God. He rebelled and took one-third of the angels with him.

“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” (Rev. 12:4). He is a liar from the beginning.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). We have already seen that he weakens the nations, he causes war and strife.

“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:2).

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison” (Rev. 20:7).
“And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea” (Rev. 20:8). He blinds the minds of the lost. He indwells certain people, like Judas and the dictator of the revived Roman empire. He takes the Word of God out of the minds of the unbeliever so they will not believe.

“Those by the way side are they that hear, then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12).

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: 

This chapter depicts the period of anti-Semitism, the worst period of anti-Semitism the world had ever known. Chapter 12 has a Jewish flavor to it.

Anti-Semitism is satanic in nature. In Genesis 12:1-3, there is a stern warning against anti-Semitism. So this principle has a very definite bearing on the rise and fall of a nation.
We know that Assyria was destroyed because of anti-Semitism.

The inquisition of Spain was organized to crush the Jews. Because of this, Spain went down and England rose up, reaching her greatest height under Queen Victoria.

Look at Germany, Hitler killed the Jews and God caused a wall to divide the country.
Now notice how anti-Semitism is going to exist in the Tribulation.

“And there appeared” refers to the fact that this was exactly the right moment in history for these things to happen.

“A great wonder” means a great sign or miracle.

“A woman clothed with the sun” the woman is Israel in the Tribulation. The imagery of this verse gives us a good clue to the woman’s identity. First the figure of a woman is frequently used as a symbol of religion.

Jezebel represents paganism and idolatrous worship (2:20; 1 Kgs. 16:31).

The bride of Christ represents the true church (ch. 19).

Second, this woman is clothed with the sun. The moon is under her feet. Her crown is made up of twelve stars. There is only one place in the Bible where similar imagery is used. This is in the dream of Joseph where the sun and moon and eleven stars did obeisance to him.

Both Joseph and his father, Jacob, recognized the meaning of this dream (Gen 37:9-11). It referred to the nation Israel, as does the woman here in chapter 12.

“Clothed” is in the perfect tense and means she was clothed in the past and has retained her clothing. The clothing to which this refers, is the genes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Remember these three men were all born again. Israel, regardless of the satanic attempt to destroy her, will always remain.

“The sun” here refers to Jacob.

“The moon” refers to Jacob’s wives, Rachel and Leah.

“The twelve stars” refers to the twelve patriarchs, the twelve sons of Jacob.

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

“She” is a reference to the seed of the woman concept we have in Genesis 3:15. But specifically this she refers to Israel. Israel has a child and that child is Jesus, the Messiah.

This woman, Israel, is pictured as being with child, crying, travailing in birth and being constantly in pain to be delivered.  Here is a perfect picture of the nation Israel from the call of Abraham to the birth of Christ. She was constantly expecting the birth of the Messiah, constantly in pain. The identification of the woman with Israel fits all the facts.

“Cried” refers to the pressure from Satan that has always been on Christ and the Jewish nations.

“Travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered” refers to the virgin birth of Christ. Satan made many attacks, first to prevent the virgin birth of Christ. Satan made many attacks, first to prevent the virgin birth, then after the virgin birth was promised by God, Satan tried every way to destroy Christ even nailing Him to a cross.

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. 

Verses 3-4 tell us of another wonder or sign in heaven. This time it is a great red dragon with seven heads, 10 horns, and 7 crowns upon his heads.

This dragon has a tail which drew a 1/3 of the stars of heaven with him, casting them to the earth. The dragon is the archenemy of the woman and stands ready to devour her child as soon as it is born.

“Appeared another wonder in heaven” means a sign like the one in verse 1.

Now we meet the great red dragon. The Greek word for dragon is drakon and means to see clearly and to be smarter than anyone else. This dragon is a super demon. He is a genius, this is Satan, and Satan is more beautiful than anyone else and was able to deceive nations.

Rahab is the Hebrew word for dragon, and it means exactly the same as the Greek word drakon.

“Red” is used here to describe rulership.

“Seven heads” refers to the seven empires who have defeated Israel in the past. They are, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Persia, Macedonia, the Roman empire and the revived Roman empire of the Tribulation. We meet and study them in detail in Revelation 17:8-13.

“Ten horns” are the ten nations that make up the revived Roman empire.

The United States could be one of these nations: Daniel 2:41-45; 7:20-22.

It does not take much effort to identify this dragon. This monster is none other than Satan. The stars which he drew from heaven and cast to the earth are the angels which fell with him when he attempted to take over the throne of God.

This open rebellion against God brought sin forth and caused 1/3 of the angels to be cast out of God’s presence (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6).

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. 

The tail of the great red dragon represents Satan’s intelligence in action and includes one-third of the angelic creation. They were all thrown out because they believed as Satan believed.

“Ready to be delivered” means that Satan kept an eye on Christ every moment in His birth and afterwards. This is a very important part of the Christmas story.

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. 

Verse 5 reveals another personality. The woman is pictured as bringing forth a male child.

“She brought forth a man child.” This refers to the first advent of Christ, His virgin birth.

Here the identification is obvious. This male child is Jesus Christ. Israel gave birth to the Messiah after travailing from the days of Abraham. At our Lord’s birth the red dragon, Satan, had King Herod all ready to devour the Christ child, but God providentially intervened (Mt. 2:13-18). 

The only person who is said to rule all nations with a rod of iron is Jesus Christ (Ps. 2:8-9; Rev. 19:15). And, of course, the only person ever caught up to God, to the throne of God, was our Lord (Lk. 24:51; Acts 1:9-11). Hence, the male child of the woman Israel is Jesus Chist our Lord, the Messiah of Israel.

“Was to rule all nations” Christ has not ruled all nations yet, but He will.

“Rod of iron” speaks of capital punishment.

“Her child was caught up unto God” speaks of the ascension of Christ on the Mount of Olives in Acts 1:10-12.

During Christ’s earthly life Satan did his best to war against Him and devour his best to war against Him and devour Him. But time and time again the war went badly for the red dragon. He was defeated at Bethlehem, at Calvary, and finally at the Mount of Olives.

Between verses 5 and 6, the whole church age takes place. The church age is not mentioned here.

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. 

Verse 6 resumes the dealings of God with Israel and reveals what will become of this nation during the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, the Tribulation.

Since Satan has been totally unsuccessful in destroying the male child of the woman, he turns his attention to the woman herself. Satan’s wrath is vented toward the nation Israel, especially during the final 3 years of the Tribulation.

Therefore, Israel is forced to flee into the wilderness where God has prepared a place of shelter and safety for her. When Christ gave His prophecy about the Great Tribulation, He warned, “Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains” (Mt. 24:16).

This is Israel’s flight in the Tribulation.

Israel fled into the wilderness (desert place) where God had prepared a place for her.
Read Matthew 24:13-26.

This place is in the mountains of Edom, Moab and Ammon.

To be specific, it is Petra.

Read Isaiah 16:1-4. Here Sela means Petra.

The prophet Isaiah mentions the city of Sela in the wilderness of Moab as a place to hide the outcasts. (Isa. 16:4). Sela is the Hebrew form of the Greek name Petra, meaning “rock.” Located some 50 miles south of the Dead Sea, the city of Petra was the capital of the ancient Edomite Empire.

Since it is situated in a fertile basin at an elevation of 3,800 feet above sea level and since it is entered only by a narrow, twisting gorge, the walls of which rise a thousand feet higher, this spot seems to be the perfect hideaway for Israel.

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

Verse 7 is a scene of war shifting from earth to heaven.  Think of the consequences of the statement and there was war in heaven.

The lines of battle are drawn: Michael and his angels versus the dragon and his angels.
In Daniel 12:1 the archangel Michael is depicted as the special guardian of Israel, and now he performs his task well.

“Michael” signifies, “Who is like to God?” We may compare this with the cry of the worldly in 13:4, “Who is like unto the beast?

Here we have warfare in Heaven - this conflict has always been going on, but now it breaks out into an open war.

This is the results of casting Satan out of Heaven.

Satan and his fallen angels have attended many celestial sessions, but now in the midst of Tribulation, they are thrown out of Heaven.

This warfare is between two angelic forces.
The war in heaven appears to rage on for an extended period.

This is the second fall of Satan. The first fall is recorded in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.
This warfare evidently is between the elect angels led by Michael and the fallen angels led by Satan.

Evidently, up to this time, God had not given Michael power to strike Satan and handle him in conflict, but here, Michael is given that power.

Another conflict between Michael and Satan is described in Jude 9.
1.      The angels that make up the army of Michael are guardian angels (Heb. 1:14).
2.      The angels that follow Satan are fallen angels.

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

“And prevailed not” this is the results of the war in Heaven, the dragon (Satan) and his fallen angels were defeated.

They were cast out of Heaven and never had access to Heaven again.

This is the perfect tense and means it is done once and stands forever.

These fallen angels had been in Heaven to accuse Christians. They had a complete computer print-out on every Christian. He had accused everyone, but God is very capable of handling His own children and Satan can’t harm them.

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. 

“Great dragon was cast out” means cast out of Heaven. This is the second fall and still has one to go.

“Old serpent” this refers back to the garden of Eden when he seduced the woman.

“Called the Devil” this is his Greek name and means accuser, gossiper, busybody.

“And Satan” Satan is the Hebrew name and means slanderer and deceiver.

He is called both the devil and Satan. The latter is the older name. It transliterates a Hebrew word which means “adversary.”

When used of angels it did not initially have derogatory associations, and it was used, for example, of the “angel of the Lord” who stood in Balaam’s way (Num 22:22). 

But the term came to be used of that spirit that accuses men before God. He accused Job (Job 1:6), and Joshua the High Priest (Zech. 3:1).

The title “accuser” became attached to him in an exclusive sense.  Devil means “slanderer”. It is not a large step from “accuser” to “slanderer” and therefore Satan is not ingrequently referred to as “the devil”.

“Which deceiveth the whole world.” This describes his actions.

“He was cast out” the word cast out is ballow.  From this word we get our word ball. This means the devil was thrown out like you would throw a ball.

The devil is thrown out of Heaven and is confined to the earth which is his domain. No more does Satan have access to God to accuse the brethren, as he did in the case of Job (Job 1).

The time of this event is the middle of the Tribulation.

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. 

John hears a loud voice of jubilation. This is the angelic announcement of the victory.

Now is the word used to announce this event in its proper sequence - Now refers to the last half of the Tribulation.

This time frame will bring the second advent of Christ.

“Is come salvation” refers to the second coming of Christ.

“And strength” refers to inherent power in Christ.

“And the kingdom of our God” refers to the Millennium.

“The power of hist Christ” refers to the power of Christ in the Millennium, Christ is the power and authority.

“The accuser of our brethren is cast down” means that Satan is defeated in the angelic conflict and means he is once and for all defeated.

“Accused them day and night before God” means that the devil never sleeps. He is on the job 24 hours a day.

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. 

This is the fulfillment of the victory over Satan.

Satan is a very difficult individual, but born again souls always triumph over him.

“And they overcame.” Overcomers are believers.

“By the blood” means redemption. This does not mean literal blood, but the thing His blood represents.

“Of the Lamb” refers to Jesus Christ. Only two writers of the New Testament refer to Christ as the Lamb, John and Peter.

His blood speaks of His death on the cross. Christ took our sins, judged them, paid for them and they are covered in His blood.

Overcoming Satan by the blood of the Lamb simply means that our victory is in the cross.

The blood of Jesus Christ not only cleanses us from sin, it defeats Satan in the process, as it will do for these Tribulation saints.

“By the word of their testimony” speaks of the preaching of the cross and receiving Christ as Savior.

“They loved not their lives unto death” speaks of living by faith and trusting Christ.

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. 

Now that Satan has been cast out of heaven, he can place his full-time effort into intensifying his activity on the earth. A solemn woe is pronounced upon the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the devil is come down and is possessed with great wrath.

“Rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them” speaks of rejoicing in Heaven. The rejoicing is by the elect angels who stayed in Heaven. They rejoice because these witnesses on earth were completely committed to Christ.

“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea” speaks of the worst time in human history, the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.

“For the devil is come down unto you” means the devil is on the earth in his full power.

“Having great wrath” refers to the power of the anti-Christ and Satan.

“He knoweth that he hath but a short time” speaks of the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. The devil is aware that he has only a short time.

The devil will use every trick in his sack. He will be in his full power. This will be a terrible time of trouble.

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

Beginning with verse 13, the war with Satan returns to earth. Thwarted in his last attempt on earth to destroy Jesus Christ, the male child of the woman, and defeated in the heavens, Satan now turns his attention to the woman as mentioned in verse 6.

Verses 13-17 could be called the last great Jewish persecution.

The anti-Semitism of Satan is the most intense ever, for Israel is symbolic of the worship of God, which Satan hates.

The dragon speaks of Satan.

“Cast unto the earth” speaks of being cast out of Heaven to the earth.

“He persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” The woman here is Israel and means the devil realizes that the end for him is very near, so he intensifies his persecution against Israel.

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 woman refers to Israel.

“Given two wings of a great eagle.” This speaks of Israel being given guardian angels to help them in their travel, to guide them.

“Fly into the wilderness” refers to Israel’s flight to Petra (Isa. 16:1,2; Dan. 11:41).
“Into her place” means God had provided for them. There God will nourish them 3 ½ years. The devil wanted to destroy Israel, but God will care for them.

“Nourished for a time, and times and half a time” means 3 ½ years. Time is a year, times is two years and half a time is six months.

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. 

Serpent speaks of Satan.
 “Cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman” speaks of the vast army Satan will mass against Israel.

“Water as a flood” refers to armies.

“That he might cause her to be carried away of the flood” speaks of the description of the great battle which will take place, called the Battle of Armageddon. We will study this battle in detail in chapters 13 and 17.

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. 

As Israel rapidly flees to the wilderness, Satan causes a great flood to go forth in an attempt to destroy her. But in the providence of God, even the earth aids the woman, and the great flood is swallowed up by the earth.

The dragon is now exceedingly wroth with Israel and takes his anger out on those who do not flee to the wilderness.

Jews who turn to Christ will be the special target of Satan’s wrath as he unleashes an attack on God’s chosen people which is unparalleled in history.

 “Earth helped the woman” refers to how God caused nature to help Israel, unusual natural disasters.

“Swallowed up the flood” speaks of how God will devour the devil’s army (flood).

Jerusalem will become a fresh water harbor, a seaport city. (See Ezekiel 47:5-12.)

God cuts off Satan and protects His own people.

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.

Dragon speaks of Satan.

“The woman” speaks of Israel.

“Went to make war” speaks of the Battle of Armageddon.

“The remnant of her seed” speaks of God’s people.

“Keep the commandments” refers to believers.

“Have the testimony of Jesus Christ” means these have been born again.

As you have realized, Chapter 12 is an inset into the narrative of future events.
Its lines of truth stretch both back to the days of Christ and forward to the end of the Great Tribulation.

It gives us a comprehensive view of the deceptive activity of Satan. Each of us should beware, for even now Satan is bent on destroying whoever stands for God in this world. In this Church Age, we are his target.

We must “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.