Revelations 12: Woman Clothed
With the Sun, and the Dragon
Image: Artist Unknown
1. A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. 7. Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because
the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
13. When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
14. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
The woman clothed with the sun is the Old Testament Law, which apart from the sins of mankind, shines like the sun in glory and holiness. But, the Old Testament, within its prophecies from Genesis to Malachi, was always pregnant with, and waiting in expectation for, the birth of the New Testament Gospel, which is Jesus and all that Jesus has done and stands-for.
The Old Testament, having foretold of the Messiah's coming, then gave birth to the New Testament Gospel at Jesus's birth; but the Gospel was always within the Old Testament through prophesy, which meant the Old was pregnant with the New all along, and it was never not pregnant with the Gospel of Jesus.
The twelve stars on the Old Testament Law's head are the twelve tribes of Israel who were entrusted with the Law on Mount Sinai. It is written that upon receiving the Law written on tablets by God, Moses's face glowed like the sun. The twelve tribes were glorified by virtue of having been given the Law and having been entrusted to teach the Law, and Jesus said, "Salvation is from the Jews."
The moon in the image represents the deadness of mankind in their sins, and the Old Testament Law stands on and presses down on sinful humanity. The moon has no light of its own, just as sinners do not; the moon can only receive the light, but alone, it is dark and void and without life. That is a condemned sinner under the weight of a Law that he cannot perform and obey. The Law is standing on the sinner as an oppressive burden.
After giving birth to the Gospel, the Old Testament Law, or the Woman, is given two wings of an Eagle, and she flies away to the Wilderness to be taken care of by God for a time.
Birds in Scripture represent influence, or an influencer, and the larger and stronger the bird, such as an eagle, the higher up in the echelons of society their influence goes; and the wider the wing span, the greater the reach of the influence. The Old Testament Law maintains great influence to this day, the world over, and with several different religions resorting to it still, though its meaning is hidden from those who do not believe in Jesus; so it is hidden in obscurity, as if in a wilderness.
Jesus fulfilled the requirement of the Law, and when he died, the temple veil, which hid the Holy of Holies, was torn in two, because the veil represented the body of Jesus, and when he died, the way into the heavenly temple was opened, and there was no more need for the earthly temple sacrifices, or the veil. Jesus was the the true and last sacrifice, and the Holy of Holies was forever opened in heaven for everyone who trusts and believes in Jesus.
So, the Old Testament Law was going into obscurity, in that John the Baptist was the fading shadow of the Law, the last Prophet, and he said, "I must decrease, but [Jesus] must increase." It was going into the wilderness, but I believe the eagle's wings were given to it because it will still have great influence the world over until the end of time, because it still points to Jesus; it still points to the Gospel; and it still testifies that God foretold Jesus from the very beginning of creation. But for those who reject Jesus, the Old Testament is a wilderness and a dry, remote place within the understanding of mankind. Only in Jesus does the Old Testament reveal itself.
Matthew 5:17-18: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a jot or tittle shall disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
The Old Testament was about to decrease in power and authority so as to give first place to the Gospel of Grace in Jesus, but the Old Testament was not going entirely away, nor will it, until every prophecy made in the Old Testament has been fulfilled.
The Old Testament is protected by God for three and half years, or 1260 days, as the verses state. I believe three and half years, or 1260 days in Scripture prophecy, is another way of saying, "all is fulfilled." I believe it stands for fulfillment, and not an actual measure of daily time, but a measure of time denoting a start and a finish and a final completion of a matter.
Jesus said that the Old Testament Law would not be abolished until every last prophecy in it is fulfilled. And what we see in the New Testament, especially in the book of Matthew, is that the Old Testament prophecies began to be fulfilled; and Matthew states constantly, one happening after the other, "and this was to fulfill prophecy." Ping, ping, ping, the prophecies are being completed, one after another, right out of the gate of the Gospels, and Matthew makes that fact clear when he names the exact prophecies being fulfilled by what was happening with Jesus.
So war broke out in heaven. At what point? Jesus said in Matthew 11:12: "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." And just before Jesus died, he said, "Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out." John 12:31
From the start of creation until the death and resurrection of Jesus, Satan had been using God's Law to "accuse the brethren day and night" Rev. 12:10 before God in heaven. God's Laws were Satan's weapons, due to the fleshly weakness of mankind. But when Jesus died and was resurrected, the Law became obsolete in the condemnation of man, and Satan, after Jesus's resurrection, was "cast down to the earth" Rev. 12:10 so that he could no longer stand before God to accuse mankind.
"Woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you knowing he has only a short time." Rev. 12:12
So Satan was in a fit of rage. He had lost his tool to condemn man, which was the requirements of the Law, and he had lost his heavenly position from which to legally bring his accusations against man.
We're told that Satan, in fury, goes after the woman, the Old Testament, (because that's all of God's Truth that most people knew back then), by spewing a River from his mouth to overtake and sweep it away. Some have said the River is the Roman soldiers who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., but after asking Jesus what it means, I don't believe the River is an army of Romans.
A River represents something both overwhelming and continuous, and I'll admit, there are verses that speak of a river being an army, such as in Isaiah 8:7, in which the army of Assyria was called the floodwaters of the Euphrates, but in these verses about the River coming from the Dragon's mouth, it doesn't come from the earth, or up from the ground, as prophecy speaks concerning governing authorities.
This River comes from the mouth of the Dragon, or Satan. "Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar, and the father of lies." John 8:44
Whatever comes out of Satan's mouth is a lie; so I believe what it stands for is this: Satan began a campaign of relentless and continuous lies, a River of lies, against God's Law and Prophecies, the Law and Prophecy that now pointed to Jesus as the Messiah; and what we see is that, on the very day that Jesus rose from the dead, the Jewish Leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, began a River of Lies when "After the chief priests had met with the elders and formed a plan, they gave the [Roman] soldiers a large sum of money and instructed them: You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole His body while we were sleeping.' If this report reaches the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." Matthew 28:12-14
It was the Jews that Satan was using to create a continuous and overwhelming River of Lies against God's Old Testament Law and Prophecy about Jesus dying for our sins and then rising to life after three days. If they could stop the Old Testament Prophecies from pointing to Jesus, they could invalidate Jesus. The lies of the Jewish leaders was the River that came from the Dragon's mouth. And Jesus called them, "The Synagogue of Satan", and said, "Look at those who belong to the Synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews but are liars instead." Rev. 3:9 and 2:9
Jesus said, "When anyone hears the message of the Kingdom of God but does not understand it, then the Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart." Matthew 13:19 And here, by the Jewish Religious Leaders, Satan was swiftly snatching the truth of Jesus out of everyone's heart: persecuting, imprisoning, exiling, and killing God's Apostles and disciples, and invalidating all that Jesus said or did by calling Jesus, "that deceiver." Matthew 27:63
Then the Earth opened it's mouth and swallowed the River that Satan sent to destroy the Law and Prophecy of God. Okay, now you may allow to enter the Roman Soldiers. I believe God has shown me that whenever the Bible speaks of something coming up out of the earth, or the earth itself, it is speaking of a governing authority. Rome was the governing authority at that time, and it was Rome that opened it's mouth and swallowed the Jewish religious establishment and their River of Lies.
Rome destroyed Jerusalem, the Jewish Temple, and the Jewish nation in A.D. 70. Except for a remnant of Jews that were scattered the world over, Rome swallowed the River of Lies spewing from the mouths of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Not that the Jewish lies utterly stopped, but their lies against God's Law and God's Messiah, Jesus, was no longer the overwhelming force it had been. Their Jewish Leaders' mouths were muffled for a while, and the true meaning of God's Law and Prophecy could be heard from God's disciples and Paul's Epistles without Satan coming in, by way of the Jewish Leaders, and snatching away the good seed sown in people's hearts.
Then Satan turns to go after the OT Law's "other" kids, which were the Christians, those who "held to the testimony of Jesus." Rev. 12:17
Satan's Pharisaical River of Lies was swallowed down into Rome's stomach and digested, and Satan, through Rome, began to not only kill Christians, but to foment a false Christian religion so powerful, under the governing authority of Rome itself, that the River of Lies came back up with an even fouler, an even more deeply vomitous smell, and it overran the whole world, and it lasts to this day: Catholicism, the Great Harlot, drunk on the blood of those who bear testimony to Jesus. Rev. 17:6
Published by Pamela Ayn Austen
Entirely Jesus Editor and Writer Pamela Austen has been writing compiling and publishing Christian books for Entirely Jesus since 2010. She is a Protestant, born-again Christian, having given her life to Jesus in August of 1987, and she's been diligently studying Scripture every day since then. Pamela lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and she is active daily in writing articles and building books that take the Gospel to the world, so that all who believe in Jesus may be saved.
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