Summary: Message 22 in our exposition of Revelation dealing with the war in the heavenlies.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ “Star Wars” 12
We have been following a future drama detailing what will unfold in the final days of this age.
There will dramatic events on the heavenly stage and around God’s throne. There will be amazing events played out on the earthly stage.
I. PROLOGUE 1:1-20 (Things you have seen)
II. Messages to the Seven churches 2-3 (Things with are)
III. Last Days 4-22 (Things which are about to take place)
A. Heavenly worship around the throne 4-5
B. The Seven seals 6:1-8:1
C. The Seven Trumpets 8-9
1. Earth Shaking Prayer 8:3-5
2. First six trumpets 8:6-9:21
3. Interlude 10-11:14
4. The seventh trumpet 11:15-19
The seventh trumpet proclaims the imminent coming of Jesus.
and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.
D. Interlude 12-14
Chapters 12-14 serve as another interlude. John received another vision detailing the events on the earthly stage taking place sometime between the Seal and Trumpet judgments.
These are tribulation details. John provides insight on the driving force behind the last days devastation and world conflict. This section serves as a detailed backfill to tribulation events.
The end times chronology does not resume until the bowl judgments in chapter 15. In this interlude, John introduces several additional characters to the drama. Even though some parallels may be seen with certain mythological literature, we must reject any notion that John was influenced by them. It is clear that God gave the information to Jesus to tell John, who in turn faithfully recorded it. Two of the characters are pretty clear. John identifies the dragon directly later in the chapter. The Son of the woman who will rule the world is obviously Jesus.
The pregnant woman is not specific but pretty straightforward.
1. The Pregnant Woman and the Great Red Dragon
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Revelation 12:1-2
John calls this a “great sign” in that it is a significant event in the whole scheme of things.
Our attention is drawn to the long standing war between Satan and the seed of the woman.
The war between Satan and a woman rages on to the end. Human defection started from Satan victimizing a woman. Again we find Satan attacking a woman. Satan sought to prevent the promised seed from day one of the prophetic word against him.
Many theories have been offered as to the identity of this woman.
• Mary the actual mother of Jesus. (Persecution during the tribulation dictates against this)
• The Church
• The covenant community of God made up of Old and New Testament followers.
I lean towards seeing the woman as representing Israel. Joseph had a dream where he saw the sun (Jacob) and the moon (Rachel) and eleven stars (his 11 brothers) bowing down to him. Israel is considered the mother of Messiah and source of blessing to all nations.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. Romans 9:3-5
Even as far away as they strayed throughout history, God made an eternal covenant concerning their welfare and blessing that He is about to bring to fulfillment. They will again play a part in the worldwide proclamation of the kingdom of God. (144,000 witnesses). God promise that Israel would be the source of worldwide blessing.
The Great Red Dragon
Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. Revelation 12:3-4
Here we are given a significant key to human history. Scripture identifies this dragon as Satan.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Revelation 12:9