Revelation - Chapter 12
The Woman and the Dragon: 12:1-6.
In Revelation chapter 12, we see a symbolic description of the image of a woman and her offspring being protected from dragon. This woman is clothed with the sun and the moon is under her feet. Her crown is made of 12 stars. Similar imagery is used in the dream of Joseph (Gen 37:9-11). So the scholars suggest that this woman refers to the nation of Israel. She was pregnant and was crying with pain while giving birth to a son. This is the fulfillment of the promise, God made to Abraham that "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen 12:3). The book of Revelation is filled with wonders or signs. In this chapter, verses 1-6 explain the war on earth, in verses 7-12 we see the war in heaven and finally from verses 13-17 explain the war on earth again. The entire Old Testament sets forth for this event. John witnessed another sign in heaven (12:3). Signs are used to convey the truth in the scriptures (John 20:30, 31). The great red dragon with seven heads, ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads is none other than Satan. He wants to kill the child soon to be born. The stars are the angels thrown out of heaven when Satan rebelled against God (2 Pet 2:4; Jude 6). The woman gave birth to a son, who would rule the nations with a rod of iron (Psalms 2:8, 9). The only person ever to rule from the throne of God is Jesus Christ (Luke 24:51). During Christ’s earthly life, Satan tried many times to kill Jesus (Matt 2:13-18). The woman fled into the wilderness to find safety for 1260 days. Israel will be forced to flee for safety during the tribulation. Many scholars suggest that this hideout could be the city of Petra (Zechariah 14:5). God's people will be protected there from intense persecution. God will continue to protect his people until their mission is completed. The Devil cannot prevent it from serving the Lord.
Satan Thrown out of Heaven: 12:7-12.
There was a war in heaven. Though Christ has defeated Satan by Him death and resurrection, still he is the prince of the power of air. Perhaps this battle begins during the first three and half years of the tribulation period when Christ raptures His Church. (Ephesians 2:2). Archangel Michael and his angels fight against dragon and his angels. Michael is the guardian angel of Israel (Dan 12:1). The dragon loose the battle and he will be forced out of heaven. Then John heard a loud voice in heaven saying that “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God” (Rev 12:10; Rev 12:8). He is the old serpent, devil, the adversary and the deceiver of the world (Rev 12:9). He is the accuser of the brethren (Job 1:6; Zechariah 3:1). Devil means slanderer. Since Satan is cast out from heaven he will make every attempt to destroy believers. Satan knows that he has but a short time. But believers will overcome the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death (12:11). For Christ and us, life and victory come through death. The Satan no longer has any standing before God to accuse us. He is thrown down to the earth (12:9). The blood of Jesus not only cleans us from our sins but also gives us victory over Satan (Jam 4:7; 1 John 1:9).
The Remnant Persecuted: 12:13-17.
When Satan realized that he had been thrown out to the earth he will make every attempt to destroy Israel who had given birth to Jesus. Now the war with Satan returns to earth (12:13). Satan hates the true worshipers of God. As Israel flees to the wilderness to escape, Satan will pour water like a river out of his mouth to destroy the woman. But the earth will open its mouth and swallow the river. May be Satan will cause a great flood to destroy Israel but the earth will come to their help. Then the dragon will get furious and make war with believers. Satan always makes every attempt to destroy believers. He is the adversary, who walks around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Pet 5:8). We are reminded that our battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:10-20). Satan is a defeated enemy and we must be vigilant against his deceptions.