Summary: The 12th chapter of Revelation
We are extremely fortunate to live in the United States and enjoy the freedoms we have.
None more important than our right to worship our Lord as we should.
But even with all the freedoms we have as Christians, do we suffer persecution?
Not really, but when some group wants to remove In God We Trust from our money, or our children are forbidden to pray in school, or the Ten Commandments can not be displayed on government property, to me that is a form of persecution.
Now I admit it is extremely mild when we compare it to what the Jews have gone through.
The Jewish people have been severely persecuted time after time in history that is it almost amazing that they have survived as a race.
Twice they had their homeland torn from them.
Twice they miraculously survived persecutions in foreign lands.
Twice the returned to the land to reestablish their nation.
Their second dispersion from their land lasted from 70 A.D. until 1948 when Israel became a nation.
During that time the Jews endured some of the most inhuman treatment ever inflicted, yet they still survived.
Virtually every country that they took refuge in turned against them.
From the holocaust of Titus and the Romans destruction of Jerusalem on 70 A.D. to the murdering of the Jews by Hitler.
And as bad as all this the last 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation is going to get worse.
In the 12th chapter of Revelation we are introduced to the four main characters that will make up this drama.
The Woman which is Israel, the Red Dragon which is Satan, the Male Child which is Jesus, and Michael who represents the angels.
Revelation 12 Read verses 1-6
We are told of a wondrous sign that appeared in Heaven and it was a woman.
We can establish the identity of this woman by the symbols that make up her clothing.
This same description was made by Joseph in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 37:9-10 Then he had another dream(he being Joseph) and he told it to his brothers. “listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”
The sun symbolized his father Jacob, the moon symbolized his mother Rachael, and the stars symbolized his brothers.
The woman here in verse one represents the nation of Israel.
We read that this woman gave birth to a male child who would rule all nations with an iron scepter.
This will be the thousand year reign Christ will have over all the earth which is talked about more in chapter 20.
Since it is clear that the male child represents the Jewish Messiah the woman who gives birth to this child must symbolically refer to the nation of Israel.
The next character is the Red Dragon who symbolizes Satan.
Satan has a special hatred for anyone who loves the Woman (Israel) and her child (Jesus).
The Red Dragon we are told has 7 heads and 10 horns.
We will see in detail in the following chapters that this dragon is symbolic not only of the person of Satan, but also of a great empire.
This empire will be made up of 7 willing nations and 3 reluctant nations.
In verse 4 the dragon stands before the woman to devour the child.
Satan tried many times to either destroy the Jewish nation or prevent the Messiah from being born.
Remember after Christ was born that Herod decreed that all male babies under the age of 2 would be killed.
In verse 5 we read that her child was caught up unto God and His Throne.
We know that when Christ ascended into Heaven he sat on the right hand of His Father.
Read verses 7-10
This war in heaven is Satan’s last attempt to take over heaven which he will lose.
In the book of Jude in verse 9 we read of a dispute that Michael had with Satan also.
So Satan is kicked out of heaven and never again will he be allowed to come before God with accusations against God’s Children or for any other reason.
This conflict will take place in the middle of the Tribulation period.
Since Satan can no longer make accusations against believers to God he will unleash an unspeakable persecution upon those believers.