Revelation Chapter 12

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Revelation Chapter 12 

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:

12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

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.

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.

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.

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.

12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].

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.

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.

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.

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.

B etween the end of the seven trumpets that have made the public announcement that it is God that the world is fighting

 

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against, and the seven last plagues, there is more history rehearsed that gives the setting of these events. This repeat review of history shows how reticent God is to destroy. The point of again reviewing salvation’s history is to show how strange God’s act of destroying the wicked is, and how loath God is in doing His strange act. (Is. 28:21) Repeating salvation history also tells us how much God wants us and the whole universe to know to what great lengths He went to in His effort to avoid doing His strange work. The seven last plagues are the mighty judgments of God that demonstrate to the universe that the finally impenitent cannot be won by the soft entreaties and invitations of the everlasting gospel nor by the thunders of judgment on a doomed world. The seven last plagues demonstrate the truth that true rebellion is incurable!

Chapter 12 reviews the everlasting gospel in symbols. It says to us, "Look at all God has done to save! Is there anything more He could have done?" The woman is God’s church. She is clothed with the righteousness of Jesus, symbolized by sunlight. She stands on the moon signifying the Old Testament scriptural foundation of the reflected light of Jesus in symbols and shadows of things to come. God’s purpose for His people was portrayed in His dealings with His people and especially in His laws and in the sanctuary service ritual which illustrated the everlasting gospel. The church overcomes the lust, the world, and the Devil by God’s grace. The crown on her head symbolizes this victory in overcoming sin. The twelve stars in the crown are the twelve apostles who are the foundation of the Christian church which Christ set up to replace the Jewish nation. These apostles and the Christian church were to be His vehicle for taking and modeling the gospel to the world. God overcomes the Devil and wins the great controversy through His apostles and believers. This is our destiny!

Verse 2 indicates that the woman is having birth pains. The Son of God was incarnated and born of Mary in the context of the Jewish nation which was the church at that time. The church is today in birth pains to bring forth church members with the character of Jesus.

 

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Verses 3–4 picture a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his seven heads. This dragon is identified as the Devil and Satan, that old serpent, in verse 9. The number of ten horns indicates unity encompassing all the whole world kingdoms. History tells us that the Devil, using pagan Rome, tried to destroy Christ as soon as He was born of Mary. The Devil using all the kingdoms of the world is still trying to destroy the reproduction of the character of Jesus in church members. The tail of the dragon represents the deception that the Devil used to cause the fall of one third of the angels in heaven who followed him. The Devil will yet deceive the whole world, except those whose names are written in the Book of Life.

Verses 5–6 trace the battle between Satan and Jesus on earth and the continued battle between Satan and God and His true church, after the ascension of Jesus. God protected the church during its long oppression during the Dark Ages for 1260 years between 538 and 1798. The remote areas in the mountains and other wilderness areas are prepared by God for this purpose. History is going to repeat itself in the final days of the great controversy.

Verses 7–9 gives the background to the war between Satan and Jesus and His church on earth. The war between Christ and Satan began in heaven. Satan did not win the war and was cast out of heaven with his angels. Because war does not solve the cause of disputes, God did not destroy Lucifer when he became Satan by rebellion against God. God in His wisdom knew that Satan must fully reveal the malignity and lengths to which his rebellion would go—even to the death of the only begotten Son of God. This revelation of the nature of sin and the nature of God is what would settle the matter in the minds of the universe and show that God is good. It would show that Satan was a liar and a murderer from the beginning. This earth was designed by God to demonstrate His truth and the outworking of His laws and government to His glory. However, with the sin of Adam, this earth now demonstrates both the principles of evil as well as good. It was because of the sin of Adam that the Devil and his angels were allowed to set up their kingdom on earth. The fallout of the one sin of Adam has caused

 

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misery and pain and sorrow all through the history of this world. Yet in the end, the wrath of men will praise God! The fallout of the death of Jesus and the everlasting gospel will bring even greater joy and gladness to many more than have been hurt and damaged as a fallout from the sin of Adam. And even the hurt and damage may be healed and transformed, even glorified, by the love and grace of Christ. Habakkuk 3:4 tells us,

"And [his] brightness was as the light; he had horns [coming] out of his hand: and there [was] the hiding of his power."

The lengths of demonstrated love and unselfishness in the plan of salvation will result in God’s government and law being even more firmly established throughout the whole universe.

Verse 10 announces that the righteous life of Jesus and His uncondemned death unmasked Satan’s principles. With the death of Jesus, the charges of Satan against God were revealed to be lies. This cast Satan down from his position of influence and the last link of sympathy, that he enjoyed up to that time, with the rest of the universe was broken. The death of Jesus revealed the salvation, strength, and the power of self-sacrificing love in the kingdom of God. The death of Jesus cast down Satan, the accuser of the brethren, fully, completely and eternally in the minds of the heavenly intelligences. This casting down of Satan is not complete until he is cast down in the minds of all intelligent beings on earth as well as in heaven. This full and final casting down is still future. This future casting down of Satan is illustrated in two future symbols. Both symbols talk about the same thing that is repeated. The first symbol is the drying up of the river Euphrates in Revelation 16:12. Ancient Babylon sat on the river Euphrates which was diverted as part of the overthrow of ancient Babylon. The end of the world repeat is world wide and what happens is different but the same symbolism is used in prophecy. Masses of people are the support and life of the Papacy. The masses of earth’s people are going to be undeceived with respect to the Papacy before the second coming of Jesus. The popular support for the one world religion is going to evaporate before the end

 

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of time. This is part of the preparation for the second coming of Jesus, His Father and the Holy Spirit pictured as the Kings of the East. The second future casting down of Satan is spoken of in Revelation 17:16. The ten horns representing all the kings of the earth that in the future shall see the baseness of falseness and lies of the Papacy and turn on her and hate her for deceiving them and make her desolate and naked and eat her flesh and burn her with fire. This turn of events is repeated a third time at the end of the thousand years after the whole great controversy has been visually laid out before the whole universe. That is the final, total and complete casting down of Satan and his angels. Affliction will never rise again. Nahum 1:9.

Verse 11 reveals how Satan is cast down in the individual believers. It is through the death of Jesus, which is reflected in the death of self in every believer. The death of Jesus makes it possible for the believer to receive the love of Jesus that is stronger than death. Through divine love, self is crucified with Jesus. This experience of denying self, to the point of death, daily and hourly, gives an experience that Jesus had, which is the basis for the testimony of Jesus that becomes the testimony of the believer—the word of their testimony. This is the everlasting gospel.

Self-sacrifice is the keynote of Christ’s teachings. RH, Sept. 28, 1911 {CS 25.3}

Verse 12 tells us how much joy in heaven there is when the everlasting gospel is shown to work in reality in changing lives into the character-likeness of Jesus. It also tells us how angry it makes the Devil, who knows his time is short, before he is completely and utterly destroyed. It is the preparation for this demonstration that the everlasting gospel works in reality, which is delaying the second coming of Jesus to claim those graduates of the everlasting gospel. This is why Satan works so hard to prevent the formation of this everlasting gospel "graduation class".

Verses 13–17 reviews the history of the battle between Satan and the true church between the time of the death of Jesus on Calvary and the mature development of the "graduation class"

 

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of the everlasting gospel. It is the death of Jesus on Calvary that finally and fully cast Satan to the earth. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the unfallen angels and intelligences was broken at the cross. Since the cross, Satan has no more influence with the heavenly universe. The only way for Satan to get at Jesus now is to make war with His believers. The true church is helped and protected by God’s angels and the power of the Holy Spirit. This help is symbolized by two wings of a great eagle. It was the remote mountain and wilderness areas into which the church fled for safety during the Dark Ages of Papal persecution. This Papal-inspired persecution is going to repeated again before the second coming of Jesus. The flood that comes out of the mouth of the dragon is deception, compromise, and finally persecution, when all else fails. The dragon is the Devil. The pure woman is God’s true church. The last (remnant) of the church will be characterized by loving God as demonstrated by keeping all of His commandments. The last true church also has the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). In addition to having the writings of the Spirit of prophecy (in addition to the Bible), they will also have the personal testimony of Jesus. This means that they will have experienced the power of God in their lives to keep them from sin and be victorious and faithful to God in the face of persecution and threatened or actual death as Jesus also experienced. This is what demonstrates that the everlasting gospel works!