This week we come to one of the most exciting and dramatic signs in Revelation 12, which I will comment on after each verse:
“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; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth” Revelation 12:1-2.
This is generally accepted to represent Israel, which gave birth to the Messiah and was then immediately assaulted by the powers of this world. They have been under this assault and threat of destruction since.
Others see this as “the Israel of God,” which includes both spiritual and natural Israel.
“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.
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.
The dragon is the devil. The seven heads and ten horns, or powers, are likely the governments and heads of state that he manifested himself through to destroy the Messiah and the nation that gave birth to Him.
It is noteworthy in this Scripture that the devil seeks to devour the child when He is born, which happened when Christ was born.
This also reveals a basic strategy of the devil. With almost every work that is born of God, there will be an onslaught and attempt to destroy it while it is still young and vulnerable. We should be prepared for this anytime we are used to start anything new.
“And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days,” Revelation 12:5-6.
Of course Christ was born and delivered from the attempts of the devil to destroy Him while an infant.
When the devil thought he had finally destroyed the greatest threat to his domain over the earth by crucifying Him, it turned out to be the greatest blow of all time to the devil’s dominion.
This resulted in the ultimate salvation of the world from the consequences of the Fall and the collusion with the devil. Christ was then caught up to God to wait for the time to take dominion over the world that He purchased with His blood.
The woman who gave birth to Christ — Israel — was driven immediately into the wilderness, scattered among the nations where God preserved her miraculously from almost continuous attempts by the devil to destroy her.
“And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
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 12:7-9.
The next great event is that Michael, the angel assigned in Scripture for the protection and purposes of Israel, goes to war with the devil and his messengers.
Michael and his forces prevail until the dragon and his messengers are cast out of heaven and thrown down to the earth.
There is much debate about when this will happen or has happened. It is true that biblical prophecy seldom follows a linear path — it can jump ahead or backward centuries or millenniums in a single verse.
This seems to keep those who would know the truth are dependent on the Holy Spirit for an accurate understanding.
Since there are more keys to understanding this passage later in Revelation, we will address them in more detail then. For now, we need to understand the battle.
One thing we see is a major intent of the devil to destroy Israel. This would not be unless Israel was not still a major threat to the devil with a major purpose at the end of this age.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner